Making sense of your online experience for more than fifteen years

Why you might not want to use a small IT company

Large organisations, tall glass buildings and expensive executives are still turning CIO heads. Zero tolerance project management and the allusion of safety-in-numbers still carries weight at the board table, despite the heavy financial cost and the time losses often incurred as a result of this restrictive decision making process. Your industry may require strict adherence to this type of decision making and development methodology, for audit purposes or for the … continue reading

Do I need a blog?

Q. Should I have a blog on my company website? It depends on your customers and business sector you operate in. If your business is owned by a figurehead or well-know personality, then it may make sense to leverage off that and have that person blog. In general, most customers really don’t care what the CEO has to say otherwise. They’re more concerned about meeting their own needs. If you … continue reading

Is your homepage really that important?

Is your homepage really the most important page on your site? Yes and no. Yes it is Your home page is your shop front, and often the first thing people see when they visit your site. It’s a big opportunity for you to capture their attention. But not that big. Research (see reading links provided below) shows you have a very short amount of time to capture attention on the … continue reading

Welcome to our web site, really

Q. Should I have a “Welcome” message on my website homepage? Not any more. It was fine in the early days of the web, but web users are more sophisticated now. For a business or organisation it’s out-of-fashion, looks a bit unprofessional, and is a distraction for your customers who’ve come to your site to do or get something. In fact, research indicates people don’t even bother reading such statements … continue reading

Things we learned from BIWA 2011, part 1: ‘You can deliver TV over the internet, but the internet is not like TV’

Michael Hill International have hit last place in this year’s Best Investor Website (BIWA) survey. This isn’t big news, the company have been consistently in the bottom five for investor relations communication since 2008. But their websites have always appeared to be firmly directed at retail customers, suggesting that shareholders are not a priority audience. In 2010 they decided that their new site would take advantage of the web’s ability … continue reading

New business prepares for take-off

Today we have a guest blogger, Karen Simmons, Company Director. Karen wrote to us after reading our Preparing for Take Off book. Here’s her story: “There is certainly a lot to think about when developing a website and we found this out when we were getting one made for our previous business.  Unfortunately for us, we hired a Web Designer who was recommended to us by a web developers’ industry … continue reading

In cyberspace no one can feel an earthquake

Most of you are probably aware that here in Christchurch we’ve recently experienced some major seismic interruptions to ‘business as usual’. This has been pretty noticeable in Lyttelton, where I live. There are very few commercial premises that are actually safe and usable in the wake of the quakes. Sadly this also applies to bars, so I recently found myself at the bar of the local working men’s club, which … continue reading

What we learned from BIWA10: part 2

The last posting looked at the main trends we could detect from the results of BIWA10, the Wired survey of the NZX50 websites. Now that we’re into 2011, it’s time to consider what else we learned. The strongest new trend evident was the rise of so-called ‘ethical marketing’. For several years the number of sites in the NZX50 appealing to the social and environmental conscience of investors has been increasing. … continue reading

What we learned from BIWA 2010 – part 1

Well now we’re looking at the end of the year, it might be a good time to consider what we learned from this year’s Best Investor Website Awards (BIWA2010). New sites continue to do better. The most obvious thing, which shouldn’t be news but is, is that newly-designed sites in general are better than older ones. This was not always the case. I was disappointed in 2008 to discover that … continue reading

How to avoid info overload on your website

Customer centric evangelist Gerry McGovern always gets me revved up with his weekly posts about being customer-orientated on websites. His recent piece about information overload really pressed my buttons, particularly this sentence: When it comes to information, we really need to shift back to a focus on quality, not quantity. Information overload thanks to the internet has always been an issue for me. I’ve never enjoyed the information rich media sites of the … continue reading

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