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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

Effective Websites: Just The FACS

 
Last week, FEI marketing guru Marka taught marketing greenhorn Lucy how to grow FEI’s broadcast email list. This week, Marka goes over the four key elements of an effective website. Remember, fire = print.

Marka stood before the rest of the FEI tribe—Numo, Zoot, Org and Lucy. She had picked up olive-flavored donuts for the morning marketing meeting.

“Off to a good start, Marka,” Zoot said approvingly, stuffing half a donut in his mouth.

“I have a bold idea,” Marka began. “I propose we redesign our O-website.”

A piece of donut fell out of Zoot’s mouth. Suddenly the treats made sense; Marka needed something to make her idea easier to swallow. “Say what?” Zoot asked.

“Actually, that’s a good idea,” Org admitted. “Our O-site hasn’t been redesigned since my father Autho was running things. Autho was a visionary who helped FEI become the household brand it is today. But he didn’t have a great eye for design.”

“FEI has a new brand, a new logo, and a new message,” Lucy added. “An O-site whose look, feel and flow represents this new FEI will drive sales and positive brand impressions for us.”

“Building a good O-site need not be as tricky as fording the river Styx,” Marka said. “We can break good O-site design down into just four elements, which I call…” [Marka pulled up the whiteboard and began writing.]

An Effective Website: Just the FACS

  • Functionality – Our O-site must be easy to read, navigate and understand. It should be a paragon of usability. Every component of our O-site must work quickly and correctly.
  • Appearance – Is our O-site visually appealing, polished and professional? Does it feature eye-catching design, graphics and video content where appropriate?
  • Content – Our O-site should value substance along with style, clearly and concisely providing readers with the information they need.
  • Search Engine Optimization – We should structure, design and write our O-site with SEO best practices in mind.

“That is a lot of material to cover,” Org said.

“Don’t worry, we’re not covering it all today,” Marka replied. “Over our next few meetings, I’ll describe how we can build an O-site that delivers in each of these four vital areas. What do you think, tribe? Everyone on board?”

Org, Numo and Lucy all nodded their approval.

“Zoot?” Marka asked.

Zoot tossed a last bit of donut in his mouth. “Sorry,” he said. “I was distracted by this donut. It’s just so good.”

FIRE! Point
Good website design can be broken down into just four elements—appearance, usability and functionality, content, and search-engine optimization. A website whose look, feel and flow represents the company’s will drive sales and build positive brand impressions.

FIRE! In Action: Web Design Matters
In a recent study by Stanford University, 75 percent of Web users admitted to making judgments about the credibility of an organization based on its website design.

Next week: Tips on creating eye-catching, functional website designs.

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