Our institution is going through lots of change, and one of the biggest (imho) is in the approaches and expectations of their online ‘presence’. While there are many aspects to a big business existing online, like CRM, internal (intranet) structures and sensitive database relationships and connectivity, the top of the pyramid is the website that everyone outside the organisation experiences. It IS the business, as far as the public are concerned. I would even go as far as saying that the social media presence may surpass this, but for now, let’s confine ourselves to the ‘proper’ website.
Consider: a pre-existing and sprawling set of static webpage mini sites, the fact that nothing is dynamically connected, and everything needs manual updating. A huge set of problems loom. What to rebuild? How to rebuild? How much to rebuild? How to continue provision during the process? How to manage the whole process? Where to start?
We started with design. Mmm. By ‘design’, I’m referring here to look and feel.
Ok, our old design was pants. But that didn’t mean that the most important thing to get right was a new design. Look and feel, while so important to some folks, ain’t the real story. Sorry, but it just doesn’t work like that.
Think for example, of that fantastic bit of Heals furniture you’ve seen in their window on Tottenham Court Rd. Looks truly fabulous. But to actually use day to day? Forget it. Kids would ruin it. Too hard to clean. Too delicate. Whatever, just useless, to real life. So it is with websites.
It seems that significant companies now get this, so listen up. I’d like to share the article going round LinkedIn, from *Tim Brown, formerly of the UK, now CEO at IDEO:
*Tim Brown is a masters graduate from the Royal College of Art, and if he gets it as some arty dude, we need to do likewise. http://designthinking.ideo.com/