Creating a new website
May 20, 2013 1 Comment
If you haven’t noticed already, BSRIA has a new website. If a website is a company’s shop window, then BSRIA’s diverse range of services makes me think of us like a department store.
For anyone who has done it before, you’ll know that specifying and building a website is not an easy task….
Firstly, we had to consider how to communicate everything we do; from selling thermal imaging cameras to reports on the German air conditioning market? ‘I didn’t know you did that’ is a regular comment from customers so presenting as simple a site as possible for browsing and searching was paramount.
Next, we all love the web (where would we be without it?) but we all have our own subjective opinions on what makes a good or bad website. So, how do we go about building a site that truly works for users; both long term members and first time visitors?
Finally, we had to consider that BSRIA is not purely an e-commerce company. Okay, we sell things online but much of our site is about promoting our services and supplying information for our members.
To address these points, we started with a detailed consultation process with our members and customers consisting of surveys, discussions, presentations and articles of what we planned. From this, we made these fundamental decisions:
- To bring our three sites together (BSRIA, Members-only Infonet and Instrument Solutions) so people could easily find the products and services we provide as well as all the information we hold on any subject.
- A change to the memebers log-in system from corporate to individual passwords (with permissions based on email domains) to give users control rather than relying on people to tell them
- To make public the top level (usually titles only) members-only information, while leaving the valuable detail and the ordering/download options secure. This enables members to find more information from BSRIA through search engines. It can also show non-members what they’re missing!
During and after the building of the site we conducted a programme of testing. Not only, internally to test funtionality, links etc. but with members and customers to ensure the site is user-friendly and delivers value for them.