Organizations of all types find it challenging to evaluate their own web site internally and to establish recommendations for its improvement.
That’s because different stakeholders have different perspectives. The sales folks think it should be a marketing tool and leads generator, while HR wants it to be a recruitment and retention vehicle. The quality of a web site is often determined based on the background of the person making the assessment. Your IT people may love the fact that it’s managed in-house, but marketing cringes because they need better graphic design capabilities.
And what about your customers’ perspective? Your site may do a great job of promoting the company, yet still disappoint your customers due to lack of specific resources or available online support.
So, is your organization’s web site good, or bad? You may never get real answers to that question on your own.
We function as an unbiased 3rd party when we help our clients to critique their site. Based on industry trends, current best practices, and our experience working with dozens of clients facing similar challenges, we’re able to quickly assess your current situation and provide a succinct report of what’s working and what’s not. Often we’re engaged to take it one step further by providing recommendations and a clear plan for making the site more successful.
We find that good web sites are often effective because of what they don’t do. They don’t distract the user with mixed messages or confusing navigation. Good web sites don’t inhibit them from accomplishing what they came to do because of a lack of relevant content or necessary functionality. Good web sites engage the user in the experience by being well-branded, highly usable, and chock full of valuable information and resources. And they don’t take the place of a customer’s interaction with your company…they enhance it.
While every site analysis is customized to the unique need of the client, we typically evaluate specific success criteria such as:
- Visual Design/Branding: how well does the site portray the organization’s desired image?
- Usability: how easy is it to navigate the site and to use all of its components?
- Quality of Content: does the site offer relevant, up-to-date and dynamic content?
- Online Resources: what utilities and interactive features does the site provide to support its stated objectives?
- Communication/Feedback mechanisms: is the site an effective tool for strengthening the user’s relationship and satisfaction with the organization?
In addition to these analytical assessments, we can assist our clients by performing online surveys and usability testing, as well as running automated site performance and ADA accessibility tests.