Over a year ago, I was the key player in a web revamp project for a corporate asia regional web site. I wanted to do it right, so I prepared all the necessary, researched benchmark sites, web design trends, etc. I knew we needed a more exciting and ‘stickier’ site, as the old site was not dynamic, a nightmare to update, and boring.
I still remember my meetings with the new marketing and communications director. I presented many ideas, some feasible, some not; some definitely worth implementing… and they include:
a glossary of insurance and investment terms
an interactive tool to help visitors identify their insurance/investment needs
an interactive tool to profile visitors and recommend suitable products
an educational section which offers information about insurance and investment
3 possible information architecture was recommended in order to cater to the director’s marketing objectives. And I even showed her a small interactive tool I designed for our Hong Kong office previously.
What eventually happened was a trimmed down version of what I recommended, and as the marketing team was only a 2-person team, they were not able to contribute articles regularly. So, everyone agreed on a ‘less-is-more’ approach. The idea was to carryon adding to the complete site. Anyway, we were able to address the update and navigation reorganisation nightmare through the use of database driven pages. As we already owned Coldfusion, it made sense to carry on using that, to tap on the verity search engine available.
The result was a tableless, CSS and database driven site, which served the browsing needs of a wider audience; and I came out of it wiser. The site put our asia regional office on the map, as we were the first to complete the revamp. And other country counterparts looked to our site as the example for building theirs. Although I was proud, I wan’t completely happy as all we had were boring content, that people might read once, if they read it at all.
Why am I telling you this? Well, this is just a rant. The same marketing and communications director has recently contracted the digital arm of an advertising agency to offer consultancy, design and development services to help us make the site more exciting. Sounds familiar? Shock, horror… and what did they suggest when we met? Interactive profilers to understand the visitors and recommend suitable products and services.
Somebody shoot me… please….