I’ve been doing some thinking recently, going through some of my favorite techno-geek/online persuasion books in preparation for my talk over at REBarCamp in New York next week. And I’ve also been in an extended conversation with a friend about a new site design. So all these things have been sort of swirling around in my head for a while, and a couple things finally came together into salient thoughts.
Instead of approaching design from the content perspective – I want a buyer section, a seller section, and About Tucson section, and a place for market reports – I think, first, we have to decide who the site is for, and what they want and need to see in order to be persuaded and assisted. We need to approach design by defining our audience first, before coding a single tag or picking a theme. And when we know who we’re talking to, then we know what kind of content to put on there, and in what place and presentation.
We need to know what parts of our site drive our business. The parts that make people email or call you or otherwise start them down the path to becoming your client. If we have a site for our business, we’re trying to persuade someone to do something, no? Otherwise, we’re talking about Chick-fil-a. Which also has a place. But it doesn’t necessarily drive my business. Do we really know what parts or our site are succeeding and failing? How do we know where to spend our time and energy – in terms of improving our sites – if we don’t know which parts work and which don’t?
And that’s what’s been in my head recently. Now – how do I figure that out and apply it in the new year?