Do you want a truly great website, or would you be happy with a sound, competent one?
I’ve recently been doing some analysis on the various criteria that I use to evaluate corporate websites, and have grouped them into three categories.
These criteria generally represent the core practices that a site should adopt to qualify as a competent corporate site, and tend to be the requirements that stakeholders expect corporate sites to have as standard. Most large companies will meet most if not all of these. In fact, it is a slight shock whenever I discover that a major company, such as a FTSE 100 company, doesn’t fulfil one of these criteria.
These practices are used by more advanced companies, and include those that involve providing more detail and more data for the visitor. A good corporate site would score well in both the first and second groups of criteria, as the first set lay a solid foundation for the second.
These represent qualities that help make a corporate website a great site. These provide the visitor with a more personalised and interactive experience. They may help the visitor make best use of their visit by integrating with their desktop applications on demand, and by cross-linking across the website. Truly great websites enable the visitor to achieve what they want, while simultaneously supporting the corporate strategy and demonstrating the corporate message.
Not all criteria will apply to all sites, and these are cumulative, so that scoring well in the great category while not scoring well in the competent category will not result in a great score – even if it were possible. Many of the good/great criteria build upon the core practices laid down in the competent base.
There is a strong correlation between companies with the highest score in the ‘Great’ category, and those which I rate as the best (on a purely subjective basis).
Not every company wishes to compete with the very best websites, though all should want to have a least a competent corporate website.
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