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Behind the Scenes: Building a Website for a Software Company

By | July 3, 2013 in General IT

Behind the Scenes: Building a Website for a Software Company

So, how does one embark on the huge task of redesigning a website? While there are certain epiphanies and creative ideas that pop into your head as you do the most mundane things, like take a shower, the majority of website planning happens when you sit down and work through the bigger goals.

While I won’t go through the more technical stages of website building that SysAid underwent (research, sitemap, wireframes, design/mockups, content, implementation and more), I will highlight the values that I chose to focus on and use as a compass throughout the website creation process. It is these values that kept the marketing team focused, mindful, and most of all, inspired.


Reflect the Product UI

The UI serves as the gateway between the user and their ability to easily and successfully use a product to its full capacity. Visitors recognize that and are therefore looking primarily for a software that is easy-to-use and nice to look at. While visitors can be impressed by a nicely designed website, if the software they are investing in doesn’t have that same look and feel, it’s really just a marketing gimmick.

Therefore, a main goal of ours was to put the new SysAid product UI on display and give a true reflection of what the product is like to view, navigate, and use. SysAid has invested immeasurable time and energy into developing a clean UI that lets users easily navigate through the software, access all the features, and interact with SysAid exactly the way they are meant to.

The entire new website reflects SysAid’s product UI and has similar usability as well. For example, our homepage is designed to say to our visitors as they enter our website: “This is the look and feel of SysAid; it’s polished, easy-to-navigate, and beautiful”.

New SysAid Homepage

Give Visitors What THEY Want

Often companies forget that the function of a website is to give visitors the information they came searching for as easily as possible. As a Marcom Manager, I understand the desire to push marketing objectives to the front of a website, but building a website with the emphasis solely on marketing strategies means nothing if it doesn’t take into consideration what the visitors want to see.

This means taking the time to do extensive research on the behavior of visitors, such as discovering which pages they are visiting the most, the click-through rate (CTR), and which pages they spend the most time on.

Using great tools like Google Analytics we collected data and discovered the main interests of our visitors. From there, we designed a website focused on making these pages front and center, thereby offering our visitors just what they came looking for!

Circles on homepage

Navigation, Navigation, Navigation

After discovering what our visitors were primarily looking for, the final goal was to make this information easy to access with a simple and focused navigation. Things like stuffy, crowded menus or 5 different buttons on a page overwhelms visitors and makes their website experience confusing.

So, we polished up the menu to be cleaner and shorter, and also made it a “sticky menu” (a menu that stays within the visitors view) so that visitors have access to the menu even when they scroll down a page allowing them to navigate the site from wherever they are on the website.

sysaid-menu-563.jpg

We implemented other navigation techniques based on our research and added a search bar for those who wanted to quickly drill down on a specific topic.

Search bar

To summarize, SysAid’s website is built on the interests of our visitors, and is intuitive and easy-to-navigate no matter what page a visitor is on. Now that we have launched there is a lot to be done! Next steps include monitoring the analytics and making educated suggestions on how to improve the site. It’s impossible to get everything right on the first try, so now is the time to learn from how the visitors use the site and make improvements based on this.


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Elana Katzor

About Elana Katzor

Lover of writing, health, and traveling. Really interested in what people in IT want. Living far from home, but keep my American roots by reading the NYTimes every day. As Virginia Woolf once said, "I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life."
 

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