At True, we believe there are eight essential ingredients to creating a world class website:
1. A clearly defined role and purpose for the site
A world class website begins with a concise articulation of the challenge or opportunity the website needs to meet, which forms the basis of a solid and unified agency brief. Clarity on what your organisation is looking to achieve with the website, what success looks like, and what the sites role is in your wider digital ecosystem and your overall strategy will ensure that you can measure effectiveness. Whilst you must put users at the heart of your site’s design, you’ll find that hard to do unless you know exactly what you want it to do for you.
2. User focus
A world class website takes careful consideration of user needs and goals and makes it as simple and pleasing as possible for the user to achieve those goals. That consideration never ends. Ongoing analysis ensures that the site can change and evolve along with user needs and priorities.
3. A clear brand, business and competitive vision
While practical functionality is vital, a world class website won’t just help people do something. It will make them feel something. Your brand story, your core values and what makes you different should be woven into every part of your website to resonate with customers rationally and emotionally.
4. Great content
A world class website is designed with careful consideration of sales and marketing channels. Whether advertising through paid search or direct mail, or approaching prospects via sales teams, consider how your website caters to these channels and their audiences. World class website content aids discoverability, helps sales, guides and supports the user in their journey, and distinguishes your brand as the preferred option, persuading prospects to become customers, advocates and influencers.
5. Outstanding digital experience
The way a website moves, feels and responds to a user’s actions on every device, as well as the way it looks and sounds, plays a massive role in brand perception and the websites ability to persuade and inspire action. Aesthetically pleasing, usable, readable and consistent in visual identity and tone of voice, a world class website will use interactivity and motion to transition the user through their journey, offering subtle navigation cues and prompting interactions and ultimately, desired action.
6. Robust technology
A world-class website needs to be accessible to all, regardless of market/region/device. That means it’s built on a foundation rock of solid technology and on the right platform. It should be scalable, accessible and responsive, whilst integrating seamlessly with other systems. From end user and content editor points of view, it should just work - quickly, intuitively and elegantly.
A world class website is one that has clear goals and KPIs and delivers ever improving results against them. It accommodates opportunities to test, learn and improve without compromising the user experience, and has the built-in flexibility to respond to new insights and evolving business and user requirements.
8. A committed, mutually trusting client/agency team
At the heart of every outstanding website, there’s a client and agency team with shared values, a shared vision and ambition. Working in True partnership creates an understanding that drives ideas, innovative and proactive thinking and transforms brands and businesses. Not to mention client/agency celebrations of success.
If you are interested in creating a world class website, then we’d love to talk.
This article was updated April 2019.