This is a place for both creative buyers and Web site developers in the business of marketing communications to share positive insights about their profession. It is hoped that peer empathy will be keenly felt by all who visit and participate* here.
Web Commentary I
No one ever came out and emphasized it, but after a few creative sessions I realized that background materials presented by the project originator were worth my complete attention. The odds that my ideas would fly were much greater if it were based on pertinent information rather than what I felt like doing that day. Even with this realization proven beyond a doubt, it would have been helpful to tattoo such truth upon my arm. Because, in reality, maintaining one's creative spirit while getting in the mood to design on someone else's behalf doesn't come naturally. For me, it requires more than a little reflection to remember the magic feeling that works everytime...willingness. Once I've let myself become totally willing to get caught up in the focused research of others, the process can begin. Out of myself, into the work, it's not long before good, supportable ideas spring forth enthusiastically.
With the advent of the Web, willingness has had to expand to accommodate increasing information. This, after all, is the newest media behind print, radio and television. So there are many more things to consider, like: how to mold Web endeavors to compliment traditional medias for the most productive integrated results; when and where Web addresses should be added to existing media concepts to further convenient messaging through all four platforms; and how to select the most beneficial and appropriate interactive technologies to enhance a Web initiative. Then there's the urgent need to plan the base site development to grow with the technologies. Anticipate future Internet options. Initiate a reasonable rate of update and enhancement in order to keep a given creative direction fresh and viable. Such attention paid to the evolution of a Web site will result in efficiency and longevity.
With the value of willingness and a bevy of Web considerations now recognized, it seemed worthwhile to outline an entire routine. Such a mind set might enhance creativity, discipline and efficiency throughout the entire process. Once again, this is the kind of simple, common sense thing that is seldom spelled out for us. Only after a good bit of floundering does it hit home that a thoughtful plan could improve performance. For what it's worth, here's the general approach I bring to the table:
Gather and absorb all the available information and existing communications on the project to be done. Organize and consolidate necessary input. Determine how this input fits together, relative to the target audience and marketing goals. Begin to develop a sense of feeling and style that will best carry the new message. Render thumbnail** ideas. Decide on a style of design, illustration and/or photography that will best enhance the approved creative direction. Begin design by streamlining graphic elements so they read quickly and are visually complimentary to each other. Evaluate each graphic element individually to determine the most advantageous look and load time. Design a balanced typographical format which makes efficient and attractive use of both html and gif headlines. Make decisions about emphasis and balance that will positively further the message's goal. Consider how design choices will work best with the existing brand. Review all the ideas to decide which is most likely to succeed. Present the decision and and a carefully thought out rationale to the client and/or other project originators. Advocate that essential aspects of all new solutions, once approved, remain consistent throughout every facet of upcoming and related design efforts. To ensure the utmost interest and credibility, strive for perfect and precise execution in all phases of final production.
**These initial rough concepts facilitate the creative process in a variety of ways. Quick to do and easy to understand, they distill the idea into the simplest of forms so that its merit, or lack thereof, is very clear. Sometimes, after a great deal of creative exploration, that first thumbnail turns out to be the very best solution. Commentary by Andy Attiliis
Web Commentary II
How to ensure that the well designed Web site grows into a successful marketing tool.
Even the best designed sites must be fully utilized and diligently maintained before they can become valuable communication assets. For starters, that means comprehensive seeding with the largest search engines. Topical information should be updated whenever necessary.
Special effort should be made to announce a new Web site address whenever possible. Include your Web site address everywhere: fax form, estimate, bill, business card, envelope, letterhead, print ad, radio spot, tv spot, press release and every other item that you publish. In addition, every site that has marketing and/or other expectations of any kind should implement a vigorous plan to work the site. To get it out there on a regular basis using netiquette acceptable Web communications.
The Web is an interactive media, immediately interactive! So it's more like meeting in real life than any other media(print,radio,tv). Via a variety of internet formats such as bulletin boards and chat rooms, we can network on the Web in real time with interested parties for as long as we want. Together with a convincing Web site for instant referral, that gives anyone the capability to market or communicate effectively anywhere in the world. Which means that an Internet marketing strategy is vital to the success of any Web site. Your site developer should also be able to help you formulate an effective plan.
To further marketing success on the Web, visit informative sites such as Idea Site For Business. This content site distills information into an organized format intended to inspire successful Internet strategies and instill marketing confidence in small and mid-size business owners.
commentary by Andy Attiliis
*For those who have writings about Web development that they would like to contribute for unlimited use, please e-mail them to email@example.com If accepted for publication, in return for their use, contact information and a credit that is linked to your Web site will be included.