How to Know the Value of a Website

The beautiful thing about web design is that you have a near-endless number of options to choose from.

The terrible thing about web design is that you have a near-endless number of options to choose from.

So how do you decide which option is best?

IT’S ALL ABOUT VALUE

The human brain is a fascinating and powerful thing. Some say we only use a small fraction of it. Well, even if that’s true, this small fraction does a whole lot.

Most of the work our brain does goes on behind the scenes. Things like maintaining balance, filtering out irrelevant information, determining what’s new and different vs. what’s the same.¬†Perhaps most important of all is this:

Our brains are constantly weighing options, informing our decisions by ASSIGNING VALUE.

VALUE IS ALWAYS PERSONAL

Now, why do our brains assign value when we live in a world that assigns value for us? Some would argue that they just don’t know any better, that they haven’t “gotten with the times,” or whatever.

I believe there’s another reason, far more accurate and significant. I believe our brains assign value because VALUE IS ALWAYS PERSONAL.

-How much should you pay for a website?
-Which kind of web property do you want?
-Should you have pictures of your staff and customers?
-Testimonials?
-A portfolio of your past work?

You could spend months (if not years) reading articles about the “Ten Things You Absolutely Must Have On Your Website,” after which there’d be a whole new wave of articles telling you the “Five New Things You Absolutely Must Have On Your Website.”

I’m not saying these articles aren’t worth reading. They may well be, but only if you can put them in perspective.

HOW TO FIND WHAT’S VALUABLE TO YOU

Every person, every organization, and every project is different.

What’s valuable to someone else probably won’t be valuable (or, at least, as valuable) to you. So if you’re feeling bogged down by all the options, here are a few questions to ask:

-What can a website offer me that nothing else can?
-What are my customers / viewers / fans looking for when they come to my website (and how do I give it to them)?
-What do I ultimately want people to DO when they come to my website (ex. leave a comment, buy a CD, contact me via email)?

Answer these questions and you’ll have found your value.