One useful technique to inspire improvements to your content is to carry out a competitor analysis. This involves assessing how direct competitors communicate similar content including:
tone and language
content structure (information architecture)
A competitor analysis can range from a full report on several sites or just a few annotated screenshots highlighting good and bad points. The extent of this depends on how much time and resource you have for your new website or redesign project, but it is always worthwhile to do some kind of analysis. One of the main benefits is that it will really help you to break free of the Imperial bubble and think about your content from a different perspective. To illustrate this, I have included a couple of examples of basic competitor analysis that I have done at the bottom of this post.
From time to time I will highlight new websites or redesigns I have worked on. In my last post for example, I featured the recent redesign of the Graduation site. With these posts my aim is to illustrate some of the techniques used for planning and producing content and approaches to designing how this content is displayed.
Imperial students redesign
The subject of this project was slightly different as it was the redesign of a single, albeit important page – the main landing page for students. As the students section of the site receives over 900,000 visits a year, it was important to go through many of the same steps I would do for a whole site redesign. (more…)
Another thing I will cover in this blog from time to time are any new websites or major redesigns that I have been involved with recently, and explain the process and some of the techniques that were used.
Engaging with small and medium size enterprises (SMEs)
One important activity of the College is to work with small and medium size enterprises or SMEs. This helps them benefit from the talent, ideas and facilities we have here at Imperial.
Assessing the existing web presence
As you can see from the image below, the previous landing page was not very exciting. This activity is all about outreach and engagement, so this was something that website was not addressing well.
One of the things I will be covering in this blog are tools that I have found useful.
To echo what I said in my last post, content audits are a very important technique to help you assess and improve the effectiveness of your website, but they can be a lot of work. The good news is that help is at hand! There are tools that you can use for different aspects of audits, and many of them are free. I will introduce a few of the most useful ones. (more…)