On the surface this looks like a trivial topic but it isn’t. The “call to action,” what you want the user to do, tends to define the purpose of the site. A website is a collection of pages to explain or sell an idea. This can be a product or just your personal view. The goal may range from attracting others of similar interest to selling a product.
The depth of the topic drives the quantity of information. If I am trying to purchase a new dog collar, that is a pretty simple purchase. When I look at a new digital SLR camera, I usually want to dig into the user manual for details. While the sales materials are made by the marketing people, the user manual is more function driven.
Here are some common goals of a website:
- Provide samples/portfolio of my writing (easy to accomplish)
- Convince viewers to contact me (challenging)
- Advertise my writing
- Challenging to attract people to my site
- Sell my work – challenging to:
- Get people to spend money (trust me)
- Collect the money
- Deliver the product
Most beginner website designers have an unrealistic expectation of website results. They believe that as soon as they put a site, people will come in droves – wrong. There are now over 100 million websites on the Internet. Is one more going to make that much difference? With over 1 billion surfers, the potential is there. The challenge is how to stand out.