Judging by our website you wouldn’t know it but we’ve been flat out over the last couple of months. We’ve had babies, deployed several websites and undertaken more consultancy work than we’ve done since starting out in 2006.
It’s been great and well worth all of the hard work. However, our website has been very much been relegated to an afterthought during this time. We planned on overhauling it in November but due to a lack of hours in the day we just haven’t been able to do this.
What’s worse, because we had decided the website was going to be redeveloped we all but totally stopped maintaining or optimising it. For example, our bug list has not been touched for a quarter and worst of all we just stopped publishing content.
Now we’ve got an internal content production schedule that we generally adhere to but the interesting thing is that since we decided we were going to redesign the website this was ignored for at least a couple of months.
In large part I think it’s because we’d all acknowledged that we needed to freshen things up. Once we’d decided we were going to do a redesign we must have also subconsciously decided not to generate more content that would have to sit within the existing design.
We’ve now wireframed our new website and come to realise that with a few minor:
- information architecture changes
- functionality enhancements
- design tweaks
we’re pretty happy with what we’ve got, and there’s no need for wholesale changes.
After all it’s pertinent content that matters and if we focus on creating it then our previous issues with our existing website pale into insignificance given their likely return on investment.
And this leads to the crux of this post, well for us at least. Design does matter, more than even we’d like to admit. If your team aren’t proud of your online presence it does make it infinitely harder to do the work that engages others, most of whom don’t care about design – all they’re focussed on is the content you deliver.
So bottom line here’s the message:
Don’t let things go quiet on your website.
If change is on the cards, make it happen. And whatever happens never let the prospect of a redesign stop you doing what matters most – producing the valuable content your website users want and need.
Along with touch-ups to our website that is what we are going to be focussing on in 2011.