…There is Always More Beneath The Surface
Have you ever really thought about what it takes to make that website you’re visiting function properly? We’re guessing no, but after you read this, we’ll bet you might think of them a little bit differently from now on.
It’s often the case that the easier the user experience is on the surface, the more there is going on below the surface. You’re seeing just the tip of the iceberg, but there is a ton more going on behind the scenes to make it all happen.
There are so many different pieces to a great website experience, and more importantly, many ways to make a website work harder for a business. For example, automating business processes and integration with other systems, which create efficiencies for staff and for customers. These are some of the features that go unnoticed by the average website visitor.
How many times have you paid your bills online? Ever thought about what goes into finding your account information, remembering your password or being able to reset it there? What what about storing your cart information if you leave the site and go back days later – and BAM! Those things are still in your cart. Yes, it takes a lot more than nice design to make these things work.
Now, think about bigger B2B websites – where every customer might have unique pricing based on their contracts, access to specific products, etc. B2B websites also offer automatic order acknowledgements, which are then immediately available in the company accounting system, bills of materials are created for purchasing, work orders created and pushed out to the production floor… it goes on and on – all triggered by an order online.
It doesn’t have to be for online purchases or transactions, either. Consider the websites like CustomInk.com where can create and customize your own shirt, or MiniUSA.com where you can build and price your own car, as well as others where you can create your own floor plan, pick paint colors – you name it. These online tools are HUGE in getting potential customers engaged with a company and gathering precious research. And they are totally bottom heavy on the back-end web development aspect.
These sites offer pretty amazing and sophisticated communications automatically, and the typical website user likely doesn’t consider any of that. They simply play, create or receive their notifications, emails and shipments and go on with their day. The only time they DO notice, however, is when a website doesn’t work properly.
That adds another layer – the ongoing maintenance, updates and enhancements to a websites usability. Yes, you see this often with Facebook, Google and other sites or apps you might use often. They are constantly tweaking and adjusting their algorithms and placements of calls to action or search results to see what will give the biggest click-through rate or improve engagement. As marketers, we call this A/B testing – and we do it too with websites, emails, advertisements and more. Marketing is all about test, measure, repeat.
We don’t just talk about big websites, we develop them, too
Several of our website development projects are involved way beyond a design and content management system like WordPress. We have created member database-driven websites like wmta.org – building the website based on its 800+ members, and ensuring that all blogs, articles, specials and events can be easily connected to each member. Rather than having a separate membership database, events calendar, articles and specials, now you can see all of the different offerings from one member, in one place.
We’re always digging deeper to help our clients develop websites that give them more efficiency for back-office processes. Integrations with shipping providers, online payment gateways, customer portals, supplier portals and more help empower their customers and make the business a trusted partner.
Why would you consider developing an iceberg, or a web-based application for your business? Well, the easier you make it for your prospects and customers to get information to do business with you, the more business they do with you.