I’ve spent the last week building a website for Real Media’s sister company, RPM Strategic. And when I say building, in this case, I don’t mean my customary role of creating the architecture or user experience of the site – I mean I BUILT it.
Basically, the last 1.5 weeks of my life have been devoted to 10 hrs/day of coding, design discussions, message modifications, and performance enhancements. Now, I’ve never claimed to be a great coder (I can read pretty much any code, but writing it is a whole different story…!), so don’t look at the source code, but I think the site looks pretty good.
The thing that I really like about the site, though is its architecture (of course, right?). The site is incredibly simple. Basically, the home page has a series of vertical slides, and each slide has a single page of more information about it. That’s it. That’s the entire site – no real navigation, no layers, just slides and details. And, honestly, that’s all that there needs to be.
Now, this site probably won’t be terribly effective at some of the common web analytics. We will undoubtedly have a fairly short average visit duration – but we don’t need our visitors to camp on it for long. Rather than having endless amounts of information on the site, we’d rather drive them to call us, so we can relay the information in purpose.
While this isn’t the goal for every site, it is the goal for RPM Strategic.
As an architect/designer/programmer, it’s easy to immediately dive head first into a project and try to make it flashy and ultra-interactive, with tons of content. We pride ourselves on creating sites that increase engagement, drive longer visit durations, and improve traffic numbers, but we forget that those metrics are all pointing to a single goal.
If the new website doesn’t boost the bottom-line profitability of the company, then it has failed.
And sometimes, in order to make the website impact that bottom line, it needs to be simpler. More boring. Less interactive.
A really awesome website that doesn’t draw qualified leads is a failure. Remember what the metrics are really measuring.