I build web sites for a living, for Design Chemistry. Whenever I tell people that, the typical response is “that’s cool” (and I’ve been thinking about … and I’ll give you a call) and I wonder what some people think that includes.
In my experience there are typically two large groups of people that build web sites:
- People who have great design skills, but may not know how to build (a.k.a. code) the site. Or if they do know how to build it (or use a tool to do so), they have very limited knowledge of how to personally code/program anything.
- Techies who know enough about other code that they’ve tried their hand at HTML and can do it. In my experience, this group of people tend to bypass usability on a site and aren’t usually very good designers.
I HAVE worked with a handful of people over the years that are great designers AND great coders, my business partner Jeremy being one of them. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with people that fall right into one of the two schools I’ve described above.
I am not a great designer. Ironically, that is one of the things that drew me to web development as a profession to begin with, but I haven’t actually designed a site in years and you won’t see any Shaun Worcester designs in our Design Chemistry portfolio. I am blessed to work with some very talented creatives that make our sites look beautiful, and I leave that end of the business to them. I have developed an eye for good design, and a very keen sense of what makes a site or page more usable for the typical customer.
Most of my time is spent on custom programming and application development. But whether it’s an application that I’m building or an entire web site for one of our clients, a few keys always come into play:
- Intuitive: a good site or application should be easy to understand. If you have to read a lengthy instruction manual or how it works is confusing, then there’s something wrong.
- Clean: too many sites have too much information packed onto the home page. What is the main point of your product or service? That should be conveyed in one short, simple blurb on the homepage and everything else should be a click or two away.
- Get Results: which is different for every organization. We work with our clients to get a very clear picture of how their website integrates with the rest of their marketing efforts, and we ensure that the site will get the the kind of results they are after.
These are the things that I believe are important in Online Marketing.