Your Website is No Longer a Brochure Site
There are two types of organizations. Ones that own their digital assets and processes that can move quickly to survive a pandemic and those that don’t.
What do I mean by digital assets and processes?
You own and have access to make changes to your domain, website, social media accounts and you or several members of your organization are able to create content and update. If you have no idea who has control over your domain name, your organization has a site that was built for free 5 years ago and you rely on interns, who are now trying to make their way home since their university has closed down the dorms, for your social media accounts. Then its time to take control.
For those of you who are in the first camp
It’s a good time to review your digital assets for consistency and usability. Do an audit to make sure everything is in line with the organization’s brand guidelines. Run a usability test to make sure what the organization is putting out in the world is useful and allows the user to accomplish their goals which in turn would lead to the organization’s goals. Review processes for efficiency while still remaining positive for humans. Some of these might be small tweaks and others may need a bigger plan, i.e. is your site useful on mobile devices, or can you add e-commerce.
For those in the second camp
Get ahold of admin access to your domain(s), website, and social media accounts. I’m going to assume you have those for your email and ERP/CRM system. Make a list of who has access to the admin info and who is able to make changes. Make sure everyone is on the same page and who has priority for any changes. Assign people to areas of ability and interest. That could be someone to manage the relationship with the web designer that created the site for free and working out away, even if you have to pay, to make updates easy for you to do. Or hire someone to take it over that will do it in a way that your organization retains ownership and control. Ultimately that doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself, you want to have systems/processes in place in case the relationship ends.
Making it useful
During this time people are looking for things to do but aren’t interested in learning how you do things or how your site is laid out. Their mental models come from standards that have been around for years. Review how user-friendly your site is and if there is anything on it for people to do. If not, create something that is. For instance, if you are a museum or a gallery you can create a video tour of your current exhibit. Get your iPhone out and start filming. Don’t forget to add a running commentary of what we are seeing. You’ll only have a few seconds to grab people’s attention before they move on.
If you are not able to access your facility, scour Youtube and the rest of the internet for useful videos and articles that your customers/audience would enjoy. This gives you time to plan out how you’re going to create your own content while seeing what your audience responds to. Which brings me to a good point. Make sure you have some sort of analytics hooked to your site. You want to know what people respond to, the time they respond, where are they located, what devices they are using, etc.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting more thoughts and links on how to move forward in the new normal. In the meantime, feel free to comment and let me know what you are dealing with so I can get more specific. I'm also offering a limited time usability test.