While every business is unique, chances are, you are not the only person in your line of business. And chances are also that there are many similarities between you and your competitors. However, there are also differences—and those differences are what make you stand apart.
You’ve articulated them in your marketing plans and your brand guide. Your employees understand your unique selling proposition and how it ties into your company’s goals. Everyone is on the same page. Until you bring in an outsider.
For many companies, taking the time to make sure outsourced talent—especially web designers—understand the context of their business beyond the branding never occurs to them.
There are five key pieces of information that will help provide the necessary context to your designer.
- Your elevator pitch. This includes what you sell and how you sell it. This will help provide an organizational framework for the site so that it models your wider approach. Contextualizing what you offer for your designer will mean this comes through clearly in the design for your end users.
- Branding and positioning. The elevator pitch gives a high level overview, but your brand guidelines and positioning strategy are at the heart of helping a designer understand your business. This is where they’ll learn creatively what you are all about and they can start envisioning how to develop a site that upholds your brand value.
- Your competitors. What are the expected conventions in your industry and how are you different? Educating your web designer on your competitive landscape will help them articulate your point of difference to potential customers.
- What the point of your website is. You are spending a lot of money to attract customers to your website. What do you want them to do when they get there? Contemplating what you require your website to achieve prior to briefing your website designer is paramount. The answer to this will determine functionality versus form—this is the crux of your websites value.
- Where your current website falls short. If you already have a website, sharing with the designer what is working—or not working—will provide a good basis for moving forward. Share your bounce rates to determine what type of content is good. And analytics, such as how users access your website (responsive and mobile), are invaluable. Your designer can also provide you with suggestions on how to remedy problems you’re facing based on their experience with the latest technology and best practices.
You know your business and your goals better than anyone. And your designer knows how to design a beautiful website that works well. Yet, if you don’t provide an adequate brief and your designer works in a vacuum without any context of why you do what you do, then you won’t get the best result.
Your website is a marketing tool, and like any marketing tool, context is key to a successful project. By understanding your business differentiators and your long-term goals, the designer is able to create a site that is not only attractive and functional on first impression, but that steers website visitors and existing customers where you need them to go and where they will find the most value. This will ultimately lead to great conversion rates, increased customer brand love and an overall boost for your ROI.
This article was contributed by Magicdust, an Australian web development and design agency providing open source websites, ecommerce and online marketing solutions.