Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD
Companies Designing Internet Web Sites Offer Advice
The Internet has arrived in corporate America. If your company doesn't have a Web site already, the chances are it is in the process of developing one.
The Internet is all about instant communication This is what many say doing business will be like in the 21st century.
Some experts have forecast, "if a business isn't on the Internet's World Wide Web by the year 2000, they're going to go out of business." Sue Vanderwater, chief executive of Meridian Data, says that in some cases that may be true. "Companies that are now advertising their products and services through conventional printed media will need to understand that in the future, potential customers will choose a vendor from the Internet in much the same way the yellow pages have been used up to now," said Vanderwater, whose company's leading service is Web site design for about 75 local and national companies. However, she predicts people-to-people businesses will still be as viable as they always have. For example, if you have always had a trusted mechanic for your car, chances are you will not look for a new one that has a Web site. Vanderwater recommends some industry do's and don'ts that companies should consider when it comes to designing a Web site: * Do use quick, easy-to-read copy points in your site. A normal user to your site will spend about five seconds to decide if your site is interesting or not. * Do set up a script for information so that it flows and makes sense to your readers. * Do set up an interesting storyboard to keep your audience reading from top to bottom in your site. * Do set up a budget that your firm can live within. * Do work with a reputable firm that will be able to support your site for years to come. * Do use your site to convey information to your visitors. In general, a corporate Web site should be used to communicate specific material to sell a product or service. If your site has dynamite graphics but not enough information to keep your visitor interested, or convey what the site is selling, it will be an unsuccessful site. …