4 Views of Website Success
In the Spring of this year, one of my students was offered an internship with Waveborn based on a report she wrote in my class. Another student was asked to present his report to key stakeholders of IDCRP. The company Virtual Communication Services radically redesigned their website based on four student reports. I couldn’t be more proud of my students.
How did they get there? I attribute one key to their success to the structure of the website analysis. In this report, I instructed the class to review and analyze the website based on four different viewpoints of success. They don’t just review what the company is doing, but what they are doing well and what they can do better. But many students are new to analysis and often come to the problem with limited or skewed views about website success. This project is designed to make them think through four different views of success so they will think more objectively about the site.
In the first viewpoint, success is defined by the business owner’s or executive’s point of view. Students are asked to review and analyze the website based on business goals, competitive examples, website goals, and key performance metrics corresponding with those goals.
In the second viewpoint, success is defined by a marketing professional’s point of view. Here, students look at the various methods of promoting and marketing the website – online and offline, organically and through paid advertisements, using SEO and social media, etc.
The third viewpoint defines success through the eyes of a user. In this perspective, students review and analyze the site using link analysis, design best practices, identifying typical user profiles and major goals they’re trying to accomplish, and the overall ease of use of the website.
Lastly, success can be defined through the eyes of an IT professional. With this view, the primary objective is to determine how well the website is maintained and administered using secure, efficient, and effective technology. Students analyze server configuration, hosting capabilities, frameworks, platforms, and workflows.
By framing the analyses from multiple perspectives, students learn how to go from subjective analysis to objective analysis and develop exceptional reports. The students learn and the businesses love it. Win-win!
Want your business analyzed? Fill out the short survey here to apply. Next fall, I will pick 8 more companies for the class project.