Our company's website sucks. Let me fix it.
December 30, 2008 7:18 PM   Subscribe

I want to redesign my company's website. How do I make a move to do it?

Okay, I'm working for a small technology marketing company (name withheld for obvious reasons) and their website is in dire need of updating. It refers to a location that has been shut down, doesn't have any information about their recent acquisition, new clients, etc. I've got the chops, so I just need to figure out how to make the move and propose my services. If it helps, it's a rather small company (<100 employees), and the three partners are very close with the employees. So, how should I, and who should I propose to redo their website?
posted by SansPoint to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Do a quick first page design and send a very positive email to the partners with link to the prototype and a short list of issues. Good luck.
posted by sammyo at 7:38 PM on December 30, 2008

Yep, as opposed to just telling them you can do it make a single-page prototype to show them you can do it.
posted by abstractdiode at 7:44 PM on December 30, 2008

Best answer: I've done this in the past a couple of times over by just doing it, under the ruse that I was in need of design practice, without telling anyone. Then I present it to whoever is in charge, and tell them they're welcome to use if they'd like. They always have. Worst case scenario: they don't use it. But you still get to spend some time doing it and show off your stuff.
posted by nitsuj at 7:55 PM on December 30, 2008

1) Gather up some evidence that websites are the #1 pr / marketing tool for small-mid size businesses. This should be easy to find. Look for those trendy industry mags like Fast Company

2) Find examples of similar sites designed a) the way you think it should be designed b) the way experienced designers think it should be designed. Get evidence.

3) Quickly and clearly explain how you can do this in x number of biz days. One paragraph.

4) Send this to a few suits, show this to a few other suits, managers, etc. This is a short memo, just over half a page with a couple areas of bullets.

5) Try to get as many of them in a meeting as possible. Get confirmation that most will show up. Be prepared the day before. 30 mins prior go around with a gentle reminder.

6) Communicate all changes 2 weeks, 5 days, 1 day prior to change. Be very mindful of the migration and be respectful to all business units affected.

7) Come in early every day. Drink plenty of coffee. Be courteous to the constant stream of people asking why such and such has changed and when it'll be fixed.

Do this successfully for five years or so, for a couple different companies and you'll never have to worry about finding a job for the rest of your life.

Fill in all mistakes and poor assumptions above and repost for the next person.
posted by ezekieldas at 8:38 PM on December 30, 2008

8) You know how everyone piles-on to every new project, wanting to shoehorn their favorite feature or technology into the project? It's a whole lot worse when the project involves personal taste or aesthetics...like designing the company website. Have fun!
posted by Thorzdad at 4:42 AM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thorzdad, you're referring to Parkinson's Law of Triviality.

"The concept is presented in C. Northcote Parkinson's spoof of management, Parkinson's Law (1957).[1] Parkinson dramatises his Law of Triviality with a committee's deliberations on a nuclear power plant, compared to deliberation on a bicycle shed. While discussing the bikeshed, debate emerges over whether the best choice of roofing is aluminium, asbestos, or galvanised iron, rather than over whether the shed is a good idea or not. The committee then moves on to coffee purchasing, a discussion that results in the biggest waste of time and the most acrimony.

A nuclear reactor is so vastly expensive and complicated that people cannot understand it, so they assume that those working on it understand it. Even those with strong opinions might withhold them for fear of being shown to be insufficiently informed. On the other hand, everyone understands a bicycle shed (or thinks he does), so building one can result in endless discussions: everyone involved wants to add his touch and show that he is there."
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:29 AM on December 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

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