Topic: Website Critique

New Website Critique

Posted by saratogahiker on 250 Points
I have a new website, currently on a development/test server. I'm looking for feedback regarding overall design, usability, and clarity. Thank you!
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  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    We'll be glad to offer thoughts/comments, but we'll need to have the domain name.
  • Posted by saratogahiker on Author
    Haha... yes, that would help! :-)
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    Overall comment: The site is "inert." There are no images, no colors, no graphics ... just lots of words about what you do. Nothing about the benefit a site visitor might expect, no pictures of happy customers, no testimonials, nothing that suggests you can bring life to a tired website.

    Further, the use of a solid black background in the header looks dark/ominous, and it makes [reverse] text on it hard to read. Can you lighten it up? Or add some images that make the site come alive?

    This could be an example of the "shoemaker's kids," but it should be pretty easy to fix. You may have mastered the mechanics, and now you need to show your creativity/design skills if you want prospects to become excited about what you can do for them.

    P.S. The word "webworks" in your logo is way too small. Almost invisible.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    Don't focus on you, your location, or menu of services on your home page. Focus on who specifically is likely to want your services and how you are uniquely qualified to help them. For example, who might be interested in a heatmap of their website (and who might even know what that is)?
  • Posted by saratogahiker on Author
    Jay - the reason for adding focus to myself and my location is that I am in a pretty rural area where people try to "buy local" and work with local businesses. It was recommended that I focus on a particular region instead of being generic and marketing to the whole world.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Member
    In that case, focus on your connection to the area. What local businesses have benefited from your services? Who specifically would be your ideal local client? Would they be looking for your services or would you need to educate the about the specific benefits you offer?
  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    A few images of local landmarks, roads, buildings, street signs -- with people in them -- would go a long way toward communicating your local presence without the need for many words. You could use the freed-up space to talk about the benefit local businesses can expect when they hire you.
  • Posted by saratogahiker on Author
    I've made some updates; please let me know what you think. Please note, this updated version hasn't been made responsive for mobile devices yet, so please only review on a desktop.

  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    A big step in the right direction, IMHO. The header is no longer black/depressing, the logo is readable, and there is a picture (albeit a landscape with no sign of humanity). Just enough copy to provide basic information and invite people to take the next step.

    If there is a major deficiency it is still the absence of a clear benefit for your target audience. "Your web presence improved" is not a benefit. It's something you do in order to get to a benefit. Perhaps the benefit is improving sales (and profit?) by expanding awareness to a larger audience. Perhaps it is to be seen by the community as a smart and progressive businessperson. Perhaps it is to be part of a campaign to bring attention and respect to the community. Etc.

    Why not use the picture now on the homepage as your header background, and then find an image that includes real humans for the space now occupied by the mountain?

    And instead of the YES/NO options, why not a headline that summarizes what you're asking so people who don't want to read all the copy will still get the big idea(s)?

    Hope these are helpful.
  • Posted by saratogahiker on Author
    I agree, benefits are missing. Perhaps instead of Yes and No with those descriptions under them... something like this?

    "Yes, but I want it better"
    - increased visibility for search engines
    - improved usability for your users
    - appear more professional
    - better communications with your audience
    - stand out from your competition

    "No, but I'm ready to take the leap"
    - increase your exposure
    - help your audience contact you
    - increase your business value
    - 24/7 marketing
    - foster instant credibility
  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    How about changing the question from:

    "Do you have a website or social media account?"


    "Are you using the internet to grow your business and show the world why Albany County is such a great place to live and work?"


    "Yes, and I'd like to do it better" or "No, but I'm willing to give it a try"

    And don't use all caps for the question. Too hard to read. And use a larger font/size.

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