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Neuger CO.LAB Recap: What Makes a Great Website?

July 13, 2020

On July 8, 2020, we continued the Neuger CO.LAB session schedule with the fourth installment, which focused on website development. We were pleased to see about 30 participants in total who were eager to pick up some tips for developing a reliable website.

Session Four Hosts

Main Discussion Points

A great website:

  • Is easily updatable, designed for users, has compelling content and drives results.
  • Includes a universal design that prioritizes efficient user experience and uses inclusive features that meet accessibility standards and load quickly.
  • Has clear, measurable actions.
  • Has a canonical URL, which prevents problems caused by identical or “duplicate” content appearing on multiple URLs.
  • Is connected to outside platforms to better the user experience and track visitors, such as Google Analytics, MonsterInsights, Google Tag Manager and Woocommerce.
  • Has UTM tracking codes, which is a snippet of code that you can add to the end of a URL to track the performance of campaigns and content. It can identify how many users visit the specified content.
  • Has company contact information and an online form.

Key Discussion Questions

Q: Are there any rules of thumb for how much text a website should contain?

Many people write for the web like they would write an essay or email, but you want to be as concise as possible and navigate the user to the action that they want to achieve. Use short sentences, clear calls to action and effective headings. Having a combination of text, action (buttons, links) and video/visual components make for the best pages. It is also important to track the conversions.

Q: What is the most common mistake, or shortcoming, that you’ve found when looking at artists’ websites?

Making your site visually pleasing is just one step of having a successful website. You need to have a structured code that has meaning to its functions. Accessibility also goes a long way. Be aware of how color choice influences the eye and directs or detracts attention. Have easily readable content on all platforms (mobile, laptop, tablet).

Q: If I’m redesigning a website or launching a new one, what should I take into consideration to ensure the design and content is relevant for years to come?

There are attention-grabbing trends that you can use to make your website stand out. Something to consider is not getting too attached to the design and content trends because trends come and go quickly, resulting in shorter relevancy for these items.

It is a common habit to spend time on a website redesign, but in the end, you can fall into the trap of creating a website reskin. Reskinning typically entails adding a more modern look or theme to the site, but not taking the time to think about the content and updating it strategically and making the menu as intuitive as possible. Be sure that the redesign is purposeful and used for rethinking content instead of just updating the aesthetic.

We also recommend and perform a full content audit before creating a plan and removing content/pages from a website.

Resources

Following web content accessibility guidelines will make content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities.

In Summary

Thank you for participating in this session and allowing us to offer our knowledge on how to improve your web development project. The quality of your website must align with your company’s work and reputation for the user to wholly trust your services. We appreciate you all for joining our space and sharing your insights.