That opening line from a presentation I gave a few years ago still applies. The world in which we live changes rapidly and the Internet is the biggest catalyst of that. This means that a website will have to adapt to current technology, new features and wishes or requirements by users. Four years ago, for example, we at the PO-Raad, changed our website from a fixed format design to a responsive one. Mobile first is the thought that came after that. This changed a lot in the way you have to design a website and in the way you create your content. Search Engine Optimisation plays an important role in this. High ranking page scores and getting on page one in Google are important. At the same time, you have to keep questioning yourself whether that is what your users really want. A user isn’t always serviced best by presenting the best SEO written text. It is serviced by a text that informs, that he or she can use, can convert into action or into thinking. The cross-links that you make on a website are therefore also very important. Menu structures, related (news) messages and downloads make that a user gets more than he or she expects. That makes what makes a website strong!
At the same time, more ways have been added to provide users with information and to enhance the user’s experience: photos, videos, animations, and chatbots for example. Soon VR and augmented-reality will allow the user to get even more in and in different ways get into the content. The challenge is to apply these new techniques into a valuable extra for the user. At the same time, a user will be expecting those features if they have become standard just as social media has. All this makes my profession great too; the interlink between humans and technology.
In brainstorms sessions with users, colleagues, partners and other stakeholders finding the most applicable solution for all concerned is a challenge that I like to take on. Getting to the bottom question, the real demand or expectation and then achieving that, building that feature is something I love to do. And I never stop at the most suitable solution. I also put the next one on the table. For a new sprint, a new update or app. Just because a good website is never finished!
For more information about projects I realised over the last few years, take a look at my resume or check out some examples below.
The following movie contains a the multimedia style that I have had designed for the PO-Raad .
The landing page ‘Centen van de sector ‘ which I recently designed and built for the PO-Raad.
The landing page ‘Strategische Agenda ‘ which I recently designed and built for the PO-Raad. Click on the image to open the landing page.
Another nice highlight was the introduction of Trello as a media-planning tool. There was a questionnaire four years ago on which: ‘ Do you have a media-planning tool for your website and other channels’ was being asked. The answer was ‘no ‘. So I started looking and came to Trello. The system which has been used from that moment on. It allows to simply plan our news service and our social media channels.
Google Analytics is a wonderful program to help you map the users of your website. The only disadvantage is that you have to have some knowledge to use it. There is no management summary, just many details. As a webmaster, I want to know that not only my communication colleagues are aware of how the website performs, but that the whole organisation is. That a policy officer knows and can see how his or her part of the website performs and, together with the communication adviser, can form a sound strategy. Data studio proves to be the solution. Based on data from Google Analytics, everyone in the organization can see the most important information in short set of online pages. And it works! Because not only everyone has access to it, it has also become part of the internal workflow. As a communication team we look at the most important statistics every Monday morning and the communications advisers present the data to the policy officer which is concerned. So the website has been really integrated into what we do as an organisation. And not unimportant too: it saves a lot of time. The reports are based entirely on live data so, for example, an annual report becomes a chore of a few hours instead of A day.