Less than a year since our last site overhaul, we began another site redesign late this past winter.  This is not because our last site wasn’t good— it was.  But as designers, (and perfectionists at heart,) FTS always has an eye for improvement.  I think it’s safe to say that we‘ll never be entirely satisfied, leading us to continually to make changes and revisions.

The process that we follow in enhancing our site is the same process that we use to help our clients; we make changes based on user feedback to refine and improve our on-site experience.   We wanted to simplify our site to highlight our strengths; this involved some spring cleaning on our part, eliminating everything that wasn’t intrinsically valuable.

A lot of what we eliminated was content.  We had committed a common mistake— blabbering unnecessarily with too much text unsupported by images. Our challenge, then, was to use less content to tell more.

This was our specific goal for site pages that displayed and discussed client projects.  Upon assessment, we realized that a lot of the content focused too much on the nature of our clients’ companies and not enough on what we did to help and improve their businesses.   The site copy reflected our internal voices, our understanding of our own clients, but this voice wasn’t one that was successful in terms of communicating with our site visitors.   We needed to cater our site content to our target audience—this meant skipping the technical jargon and infinite project details that naturally consume our attention.

Perhaps the greatest realization we came to was that clients want to know about and be engaged in our process.  Finding entertaining, dynamic ways to showcase what happens behind the scenes was our new mission; we needed to spend some quality show and tell time with our clients.  Showing people what you do, (wowing them a little never hurts, either) is the first step to building continued and reciprocal client engagement.

If you think about it, it’s the how that defines and distinguishes one product from the next.  Sharing your process helps clients to better understand your business, and have an appreciation for the time and consideration that is put into the product they receive.  Process tells a lot about the level of quality and functionality of a given product.  Think about watches, or chocolate: what’s the difference between a Godiva Truffle and a Cadbury Egg?  The way it’s made, since this is what shapes its ultimate output.  Showing your process allows your product to speak for itself.

Author Alex Stetson

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