To follow on from my “Getting Clients Involved In Less” post, I thought I’d share what I’ve done with my corporate site at “schafer.com”.
My site has gone through many changes in the just under 10 years I’ve been running it (the site will be into double digits in January). It shrinks and expands in direct proportion to the clarity I have around what I’m offering my clients. Usually, when I introduce a new service or change what I’m doing, I end up adding more to the site to make sure people understand the new stuff we’re offering.
But after a while, I realize that most of what I was saying didn’t really matter and could be done away with. Then the site starts to shrink again. A few weeks ago I launched a new version of the site — probably the sparest iteration since our “hello world” page a decade ago. It’s four pages long. The logo is the only image on the site. Nothing dynamic, web 2.0, Flash-enabled, or even particularly exciting.
I like it — but then again I’m already sold on my services so maybe I’m not the stereotypical site visitor we should be building for! I guess I have a bit of a concern that this might be too much less — that I’ve taken out something that a new prospect would expect to see — that I’ve created a disconnect that will cause potential clients to pause and think twice about using our services.
This is a particularly sticky situation because our primary services are helping people make “their Internet strategy smarter” and “their website better”. So if I’ve done a bad job on my own site, I’m not going to get a lot of clients. So here is the issue. I think this site is a fine example of getting the job done with less, which I feel is a critical skill these days. But will clients — who probably haven’t thought about the benefits of simplicity — look at this the same way I do? Or will they see it as an underdeveloped site where they were expecting brilliance?
Your feedback on the site is welcome. Take a look at “schafer.com” and let me know — did I take minimalism too far?
Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on December 8, 2005.