Where do you go for web design advice and development inspiration?
This is a question new clients sometimes ask, particularly if they’re starting from a blank slate or want to completely change an existing website. Naturally, we’re happy to work from scratch and narrow in on concepts as we go. However, it’s always helpful to understand what client preferences are like from the beginning. We are inspired by who they are and the big ideas they’re embracing. But with any big idea, it’s less about the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ and more about the ‘how’.
If you’re wondering where you could or should look for creative inspiration, or advice on features and functionality, here are five good places to turn.
#1 Your Colleagues
Your colleagues can tell you a lot about what has and hasn’t worked for them in the past. They can also share their sense of what customers respond to. That’s true even if they aren’t in the same field or industry. In this context, a colleague could be someone who has a similar role in a different type of organization. Their goals might not be exactly the same as yours, but a lot of the challenges probably overlap.
#2 The Competition
It’s unlikely that your top competitors are going to tell you what they really think you should do with your website. They’re just as unlikely to be honest about how successful they are or aren’t with their own. However, by examining their websites and strategies (particularly over time) you can probably figure out which ideas and campaigns are paying off. This should go without saying but don’t copy anything from another organization. A little bit of reconnaissance will give you a more complete picture of the market.
#3 Vendors Who Serve Your Business
It’s easy to overlook vendors when searching for advice and insights. However, they can be a valuable resource for information. Remember, they have a different perspective on your market than you do. Moreover, some of your vendors might work with the competition, or other businesses trying to do some of the same things you are. They may even have firsthand knowledge of success stories and failures. There’s nothing to lose by asking their opinion.
#4 Your Best Customers
The best thing about soliciting advice and feedback from your best customers is that they think just like the people you want to impress. That’s because they are the people you want to impress. What’s more, they probably know others who can buy from you. So, if they make recommendations about the layout of your website, the focus of your online marketing campaigns, etc., you should pay attention. It’s their experience, after all, that you’re crafting your new web project for.
#5 Web Design Professionals
It’s clear that a great, experienced web design and programming team can give you a great deal of guidance about your project. So why include the professionals last on the list? Partly because we want to encourage you to develop your thoughts and impressions before you start getting advice from creative teams. Also, because we want you to be careful. Web designers only give good advice when they put your needs ahead of their desire to win a contract.This should be the standard practice for all creative teams. The best will always prioritize their client’s needs and vision in every situation. But, when it comes to winning a contract, some might not be so ethical.
Each of these five groups can give you good advice, or at least a nudge in the right direction. Just remember, though, that it’s up to you. No one knows your company, your customers, and your organizational plan better than you do. So, take what works and then apply it to your situation in a way that moves you toward your goals.
Looking for a web design partner who can help you come up with a results-driven strategy? Atlantic BT has a team ready to go who will always focus on your needs and goals. Contact Atlantic BT today to schedule a time to talk!