P.T. Barnum's Tenets of Super Effective Marketing (Part II)
Discovering Web Site Ideas

A Web Site Redesign Suggestion

Another flying adventure delay!  Here I am writing from Flight Level 330 going 453 Knots (521 MPH).  Unlike my last commercial flying delay this one is far more interesting.  As I went to board the airplane filled with passengers, we all felt a thump!  It wasn’t one of those “closing a hatch” thumps.  Here is the hilarious part. The baggage handler whacked our airplane with the baggage truck.  Or as my friend Timmy put it "your airplane was involved in an auto accident." What wasn’t funny was the delay associated with the incident.  We were fortunate enough to be quickly transferred to another aircraft and departed in under two hours. So …

Are you thinking of improving or redesigning your web site in the near future?

Allow me to suggest one of the simplest, yet most underutilized, money saving ideas in web redesign:  Research your idea first elsewhere.  Try to find another web site that already implemented a similar idea. Analyze their implementation and then think of ways to make  improvements.   Do this over a series of three or four web sites.  You might consider a mini-usability study.  After you complete this process type up a document outlining what you like and dislike. Pass the information along to your developer.  This will save you time and money.

A few months ago I conducted a usability study for a new client.  The client put a significant amount of emphasis on the employment section of their web site.  In order to achieve their goals we looked at what other companies used for employment sections.  After our analysis and usability study we combined our ideas with their developer’s ideas. The end result was a highly usable and effective employment module. More importantly we saved them a tremendous amount of time and tens of thousands of dollars in additional development costs. There was no need to come up with a brand new concept.  It had already been created for them.

When you are thinking of redesigning you site there is no need to reinvent the wheel.  Too many businesses insist on doing it their way.  You should insist on doing it the best way. Go and emulate another web site.  Notice I didn't say plagiarize.  People borrow ideas online all the time. In many cases the old ideas just evolve and get used over again.  There are plenty of great ideas on the web. Go out and borrow one and then improve upon it.

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