As the second installment of our BRANDING BEHIND THE SCENES WITH HELLCAT, we’re recapping the process of working with the experts at Blacktop once again on our website.
Much like a logo, a website is critical for businesses and organizations of all types and sizes. After all, it’s almost instinctive for someone to search online for your company to establish your legitimacy when they first hear your name or read about your business.
Beyond initially appearing legit, a user-friendly, well-designed website allows you to build trust with your audience and provide them with 24/7 access to your business. Think of it this way…imagine walking into a store with a shoddy exterior, uninviting atmosphere, and unkempt interiors. Would you trust the products or services they offer? Regarding availability, a website allows customers to browse, buy and contact you anytime while avoiding life’s annoyances like standing in lines and being put on hold.
To ensure we struck the right balance between user-friendly design for our target audience and back-end functionality for the Hellcat crew, we once again partnered with the incredible team at Blacktop. Owner Ralph Haynes and his sister, Project Manager Jenni Carlson, and the site designers and programmers kept the process simple and immersed themselves in what we ultimately wanted to accomplish.
“Even though we had already completed their logo, we had the web team tour the location. The visit made it easier to create a sleek, modern site that was functional that also reflected the moodiness of the space with the appropriate nod to aviation.”
Obviously, identifying a firm or freelancer that understands what you want but will also give you what you need is the most critical step. However, in further discussions with Ralph and Jenni, we also identified the top five questions to have answered when you are ready to kick off a website build or even a re-build of your current site:
- What problem are you trying to solve (or need are you trying to meet), and whose problem (need) is it? Think both externally to your clients/customers and internally to your staff.
- What other business/organization is already solving this problem (or meeting this need) in your industry?
- What makes the way you solve the problem (or meet the need) a better solution or different approach than your competition?
- What websites inspire you outside your industry, and why do you like them? Conversely, identifying sites you don’t like and why can be equally important.
- What does success look like if you ask the internal and external audiences whose problem you are trying to solve/need you are trying to meet?
“When a client starts this process with those questions answered, it allows us to be efficient and effective. More importantly, it is much easier for you to hold those you hire accountable and manage expectations,” according to Jenni. She and Ralph also provided the following tips on future web development trends for 2023 and beyond:
- Avoid giving your website users too many options all at once. You have two seconds to get their attention, and too much clutter is a distraction.
- Take a streamlined approach to your content. Don’t be afraid for your users to start scrolling the page. It’s an intuitive action for them.
- Use lifestyle imagery on your site when possible. It creates a warm, inviting space that’s authentic. People want “realness.”
- Educational components that are regularly updated are still important. Whether it’s a blog, a downloadable ebook or a video, helpful resources keep your audience engaged and your brand relevant while helping improve your organic SEO.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the second article in our BRANDING BEHIND THE SCENES WITH HELLCAT series. Did you miss our first post? If so, check out Our Logo Journey: From Concept to Creation.