Website as Art: Form or Function ? What is the Purpose of the Website for Your Insurance Agency?
“Build Gorgeous Websites” says an advertisement from Wix.com, a recent entry in the website development tools arena. This notion of website as art is also reinforced by a cottage industry of web designers who would like to spend your money to build one for you. Is this really the right way to think about your website ?
What did one of the greatest designers of the century have to say about the topic ?
"Design is not what it looks like or feels like. Design is how it works." Steve Jobs.
How is a website suppose to work ? The primary purpose of a website is to facilitate the sales and marketing function of the enterprise. As such, a website has several critical functional roles:
- Communicate Basic Business Information:
- value statement to the customer
- location, contact information
- working hours and preferred communication mechanism
- background information which engenders trust and “thought leadership”
- Customer Engagement: eCommerce for products and services
- scheduling of interaction between clients/company
- update of consumer specific information
- analytics which help understand customer behavior
- Front-End of Business Operations
- coherence point for client contact information
- coherence point for sales information
- front-end for database to drive future marketing/sales initiatives
For any website, form must follow function. For example, building an artistic website with a high degree of graphical content which cannot be consumed by search engines is not very productive. However, personalizing with appealing content above a clean functional infrastructure can be very powerful.
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