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How Is A Website Like A Christmas Party?

16 DEC

Q: What’s more important: how a website looks and feels, or what it tells you?  
A: Read the blog post, dummy…

A Vaguely Festive Analogy

holiday sweater_1206

Imagine a party. It could be a Christmas party. Imagine you have put down your glass of Harvey’s Bristol Cream, scoffed your ALDI mince pie and are looking around the room at the guests. Two in particular catch your eye. Do you talk to Guest A - scruffy looking, mildly eccentric (probably stuffed a vol-au-vent or two in their pockets) but with lots of banter -  or Guest B - gorgeous, but utterly vacant (and I mean full charisma bypass)?

Even if a website has great content, if it's disorganised, has poor navigation and plain annoys you, it's not going to be easy for you to get the message. If the resources are useful or interesting though, chances are you’ll hang around to work it out. Yes, this is Guest A.

Conversely, a website can look and feel sexy and modern, work on the latest platform, but have essentially nothing useful or interesting to tell you. Guest B, obv. Do you see what I’ve done here?

When we first talk to clients, often content is the poor relation to design, appearing way down the list of priorities (if it's even mentioned at all). At this point we will stop and attempt to re-educate them. Think of Malcolm McDowell in Clockwork Orange or Richard Burton / John Hurt / some rats in 1984. (No. Not really. We’re a bit nicer than that).

Content is King. Fact.

But, not being able to find the right content at the right moment. Well, that’s pretty painful. For a truly great site, quality content needs to be married with fantastic design. 

Saville AV Homepage

Get to the Point!

So, what’s my point?

When Saville AV one of the UK’s leading audio visual companies needed a new website, they asked brightfive to build it.

Their old site was thematically dated, structurally complex yet full of great content -  which was, albeit, sometimes hard to find. Following a number of consultation and planning meetings, it was clear that the focus needed to be on user experience. We needed to improve this so that users hung around and engaged with all the great content that this site has to offer.

We added lots of eye-catching images. We built sexy interactive location maps. We made a cool universal site search. We crafted a time sensitive careers section as well as a funky ad rotator and, of course, a fully functional news and events section.

We extended our ultra-flexible CMS (content management system) to give the Saville peeps complete control over virtually all aspects of content and functionality. And there’s that key word again - content.

Saville Meeting Room and Building Control

Saville has a wealth of the stuff. And that’s what’s really important.

For instance, have a look at their case studies. Example after fantastic example of the kind of work they do. Or look at the wide range of solutions they offer, the sectors they work in, or the services they provide.

Yes, its beautifully arranged and easy to find (thank you very much) but the key thing is its useful and interesting and absolutely germane to what they do. And apparently they do it very well.

So, in the end we need both guests to make a good party. You'll find me mostly chatting with Guest A, but I'll be sure to ask Guest B where they bought their natty trousers from. And drinking too much Harvey’s Bristol Cream.

Merry Christmas!