A project we did with the Lexington Art League (LAL) is a good example. LAL’s mission is to promote local artists. One way it has been doing that is through an online directory of local artists called the Artist Archive. Like many small operations, LAL needed help with the website it created. It wanted a site that was more attractive, easier to maintain and simple for art lovers to use. Through its digital and design know-how, Intersect created a site that meets all those goals.
Here are some things to think about when you are looking for a digital agency like Intersect to help polish and improve your website.
Most small organizations don’t have a computer whiz on staff. That was the case for LAL, said executive director Stephanie Harris. “We are all self-taught; we needed the kind of technical assistance Intersect offered.” What we did for LAL was design a website that the staff could update and change on their own. As we chose a platform for the site, we kept in mind that everyone at LAL will probably work on the Artist Archive, including an ever-changing lineup of interns. The website platform we chose can be updated by anyone. All that’s required are a few easy instructions–no computer programming experience is necessary. The platform also will handle the archive’s voluminous files–photos and videos–without being slow to load or cranky and it is versatile enough to handle the archive as it grows. Thanks to Intersect, said Harris, “We now have living database that is very adaptable and intuitive.”
Most firms already have a website of some sort, and chances are, at least some of the information on that site could be used on a new one. Make sure the digital team you choose can salvage as much as possible from your existing site. In LAL’s case, we wrote a program that allowed us to pull information from the Artist Archive site.
A lot of companies will be impressed by bells and whistles that web designers can add to their site. All we can say is, watch out. A lot of gimmicky features gum up the operation of your site and nothing makes someone flee faster than a website that’s slow or doesn’t load properly. Not only must the backside of a system be intuitive so that even the most non-techie employee can figure out how to make updates, the website also must be easy for your customers to use.
A website is your business’s or nonprofits’ virtual face. Its design should be professional and echo your brand through logos, corporate colors and its overall look so users immediately know the website belongs to your organization. With LAL, we made the very best use possible of the hundreds of photos and videos the staff had collected in a design that is contemporary and clean and also employs elements of LAL’s general website.
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