The website is an essential digital identity in today’s world. A well-designed website is a powerful platform that can help an artiste or an arts organization gain better visibility. A website can be considered a portfolio of sorts – in many cases it is the first point of contact for potential organizers, audience, patrons etc.
At the outset, the idea of building or re-building a website might sound like it would be a long and daunting process. However, if approached and planned well, it can do wonders for an artiste’s career or the growth of an arts organization. In this post we share with you, five key points to keep in mind before re-designing an existing website, or building a new one.
Purpose of the Website: One of the most important aspects of building a website is defining the purpose that it is meant to serve – is the website purely for sharing information (e.g.: Eg: Your biography, photos, videos of performances, awards and accomplishments, etc.) or will it also have dynamic content such as ticketing for events, or e-commerce for selling creative work (CDs, DVDs, links to Apple Music etc), and so on. List all the elements that you think should be part of the website. This list helps you devise the top-level (header) menu. Defining the purpose of the website is, therefore, essential as it sets the framework on which the entire website will be built.
Target Audience: The primary reason behind creating a website is to publish content for an audience’s consumption. In order to decide what content needs to be published, you need to first identify your target audience. There has to be synergy between the purpose of your website and your target audience. At the most basic level, your target audience can be identified by asking the question – “Who are the potential people who will visit my website?” The answer to this question could be potential organizers, collaborators, audience, patrons, sponsors, etc, based on your specific requirements and goals. Once you identify and list your target audience, ensuring that relevant content is displayed on the website becomes that much easier.
Design and Usability: While content is an extremely crucial aspect of a website, the design is just as important, if not more. Great design not only adds style to the substance of your content but also ensures better engagement and easier navigation for your visitors. The layout, the fonts and the colour themes you choose should reflect your personality, the kind of artiste you are, or the work/ vision of your organization. The design should also align with your target audience’s sense of aesthetics, while ensuring that the ease of usability and performance of the website are not compromised.
Content: The content is the core of your website. While it goes without saying that all content on your website needs to be in synergy with your purpose and target audience, there are a few other things to keep in mind while generating content for your website. Using clear, concise and consistent language across the website is the prime factor in ensuring that your site has great content. Also ensure that use good quality, suitably sized visual content – photographs, videos, infographics etc. Also remember is to have a clear, value generating and directional Call to Action (CTA), which is based on the type of your target audience. For instance, your website should display clear links that potential organisers can click on to contact you; it should display links to where a user can buy your creative work; the website content and design should ensure that potential collaborators or fans are able to view your work, sans issues.
Think Long-Term:You might want to quickly put together a website, perhaps because you have a project to launch or a big performance coming up. However, thinking about your long-term objectives as an artiste or arts organisation will help in envisioning your website better. For instance, you might want to start writing about your art form sometime in the future, in which case you need to ensure right now that the website you are building has the technology to support a blog feature. Or you might at some point want to make your work available for sale online. For this, you need to ensure that your website can support the e-commerce functionality. Chalking out your artistic goals for the next 3-4 years would help in envisioning your website and planning for it better, so you don’t end up wasting resources, and rebuilding something that you could have easily planned for earlier.
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