Website Wisdom for the New Year

Posted on Nov 1, 2018


As we plan for 2019, we asked Website Solutions Manager Charlie Stanley to share the latest website design trends with our staff. This video shares the highlights.

Be concise and scannable

Keep your consumers’ goal in mind: they want to find useful information quickly. Just because you CAN copy and paste your entire consumer handbook online does not mean you should. Condense copy for the web, or you will frustrate consumers.

  • Use buttons: Readers scan content, looking for words matching what they want to do. Use buttons instead of burying links in text. Buttons should be clear and action-oriented (‘Pay My Bill’ vs ‘Your Account’).
  • Focus on facts: Avoid advertising copy or anything that could be viewed as fluff. Your website should focus on the facts. Period.

Keep copy simple

Want to connect with people? Avoid big, multi-syllable words. Keep your writing short and to the point. Get tips from this post about cutting extra words.

 

Use forms for consistency

Do you post jobs, outage alerts or meeting minutes online? Forms keep information consistent. Charlie developed a dashboard for public power utilities including forms for:

  • Activities
  • Agendas and Minutes
  • Alerts and Outages
  • Bids
  • Calendar and Events
  • Capital Credits
  • Jobs

 

Be easy to find

Make it easy for consumers to reach you. Instead of relying on a contact us page, he suggests adding an in-depth footer with physical addresses, office hours, phone numbers, a general email address and social media links. Use the footer on every single page.

 

Want a user-friendly website?

For the last decade Charlie has worked with utilities to streamline online content and connect purposefully with consumers. Need help making your website consumer friendly? Email MarCom@ruralite.org.

4 Comments

  1. Is there a place to find the forms he developed?

    Post a Reply
    • Kristia,
      They’re available to folks using our website services. I can find some examples and send them to you if that’d help. Shoot me an email at meganm@ruralite.org to let me know what you’re looking for.

      Post a Reply
  2. Incredible timing. I just sent our contract to RSI today to begin our web redesign process, and look forward to these improvements to our customer communications.

    Post a Reply
    • Great news! We’re working on updating all of our websites, too. ‘Tis the season. And as Charlie will tell you, even a solid website needs a refresh every three years or so. Can’t wait to see how your new site turns out!

      Post a Reply

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