The following is a text transcript of a video presentation I made in 2017:
“So how can I help you? Now I’m a web designer, web developer, web accessibility specialist mostly working in the third sector.
But I don’t really think of myself as just a web designer. I have a wider view of what my job is. My job is to help your organisation achieve your aims, through your website.
The website you have should not be, it should be a pretty picture but it should not just be a pretty picture. It’s a tool – depending on what type of organisation you are – it’s a tool for your marketing or it’s a tool for you to deliver your services, it’s a tool to provide training, it’s a tool to communicate your message – whatever it is. And you have got some kind of audience that you are try to deliver that service to.
So before I would start any kind of design I would make sure that we discuss all of these kind of things: what your aims are as an organisation, who is your target audience (or target audiences), can you rank those audiences, what are the most important audiences that you are probably funded to serve or service? And looking at those different audiences – what are they after, why would they turn up at your site? What service are you are marketing to them – what are you are trying to do for them, what is the most important thing?
And what is the most important thing they are after? When they arrive at your site. So if we know all these things and you have said: the target audience is this, the most important thing they are thinking about is this and when they arrive at my website they probably want to look for… whatever.
Knowing that of course, knowing all that, impacts the visual design of your site knowing all that, impacts how you organise your content. It’s obviously not going to be any good if your main, if an individual, from your target audience, turns up at your site and the most important thing they are there for is buried somewhere five levels deep and it takes them half an hour to find it.
They have got to instinctively think: I can see they have thought about me. I can see that they are delivering something very quickly in a way that I don’t even have to think about it – because they have already thought about what I’m after.
And doing all of that you putting less stress on the visitor, your credibility as an organisation goes up many notches, because it’s clear that you have thought about your target audience and you are doing a good job as an organisation.
I’m not saying that how your website looks is not important. Of course that’s incredibly important because again your credibility relies on having a professional great looking site.
That’s actually one of the things that a lot of organisations fall down on. They think that maybe: they are small organisation and they’ve not got much of a budget they could maybe just employ a student to build the website or they could even just get somebody in-house to download a WordPress theme – something they particularly like the look of – install that and that’s the organisation website.
It’s a false economy. Not just a false economy, it damages you as an organisation. People might not be tremendously sophisticated when it comes to web design – but they know instinctively when they look at your site – whether you are taking the whole – delivery of your content or your message on the web – seriously or not.
They know there is something quite right- it’s not quite branded like the rest of the your organisation – the content’s not well organised. They don’t know exactly what’s wrong with it but they know it’s not quite right. And that is damaging you as an organisation.
They are less likely to come back and your credibility is going down the pan. So it’s a false economy. It’s got to look professional it ‘s got to look well designed, it’s to got be well organised it’s got to reflect your branding as an organisation. And it’s got to absolutely meet the needs of your audience.
Ok so, to reiterate your earlier question. what can I do for you. Well I can do all the usual web plumber stuff obviously – which is a beautiful website that is responsive, completely accessible and has all the features that you require. All the back-end development all the content management etc. I can make sure it’s absolutely beautiful because I do believe that’s important. So I will use my colleague Amanda Taylor – who is a graphic designer – she will do the visual design and I will do all the technical aspects. And I will do all of the stuff I was talking about earlier on. To absolutely ensure the focus, which is your aims as an organisations and your aims to meet the needs of your audience.
So if want somebody who is thinking of you first. And is thinking in this wider context, give me a shout.
Actually I forgot to say – just in terms of my credibility – I’ve been doing it for a long time and in that long time we have won a number of awards. Probably the most notable was: the Global Bangemann Challenge which I won – along with my – well for the Making Connections Unit – I won that along with my partner of the time Glasgow City Council. So we went over to Sweden – got that award off the king of Sweden. Won a number of other awards as well but I thought I’d just mention that.”