ilovemywebsiteSo how do you know your website is great. Do you think so? Did someone tell you? Maybe a friend…or your Office Manager…or maybe your wife? Or, maybe the person who designed it – ya, your brother’s, sister’s, best friend’s cousin who likes to do “do websites” on the side.

Developing an amazing website evolves technology plus design plus user experience – and, unless you are an expert in integrating and applying all three, you may want to engage a seasoned expert for an objective analysis in answering the question “Is My Website Great?” Secondly remember – FRIENDS LIE – as well as those who depend on the salary you provide them. If you’re asking for public opinion, you are best to ask an online public forum. Although not necessarily professionals in the field, you will receive some honest (and blunt) feedback.

What makes a website great?

One that effectively combines streamlined functionality with the user experience whereby the viewer retains and acts upon the brand.

What does this all mean?

Functionality or Usability answers the question “Can the viewer accomplish THEIR goal quickly and completely when on your website? When defining this you need to first map out all possible intentions of your key target audiences. Next look at how they would want that information reflected back to them. For instance, if someone is looking up a calendar of events, do they really want a graphic calendar with pop-ups or are they looking for a listing type view whereby they see an image and brief overview of the event? Or, maybe both. This then can be integrated by utilizing proper and affective technology that is applicable to the function desired.

User Experience answers the question “Did the user have as delightful an experience as possible?” This goes beyond just the aesthetics of a website, however, are just as important. Did the user really get want they wanted? And, if they didn’t, was the second resolution enough to satisfied them to want to return to the site? User experience should answers such questions as was the experience : useful, accessible, desirable, valuable, pleasurable, credible, safe, findable, meaningful, usable from THEIR perspective.

Brand Relationship answers the question “Will the online web experience match once the user is experiencing the actual brand and its offerings?” This is key to client retention. Yes, you can get a potential customer to buy your product or service through proper functionality and user experience but that will not matter much when you can not retain them, which is where the real rate of return on your investment shows up. Dating back to the beginning of commerce, a sale was made with your word—if what you said you will do/provide wasn’t in integrity with what you ACTUALLY did or provided, your credibility would have been tainted. Same today, you will have little chance in making a deal again with that person or business. Not to mention, you lose your best cheerleader – the one that has experienced your brand and has expressed its greatness to their many other friends.

Your website needs to be easy to use from the viewers’ perspective, enjoyable and match your brand offering. If all three are accomplished, you will have an extremely valuable tool that is ensured to grow your sales and your business.