3 Aspects of Any Website

Dan Roam is one of the top gurus in visual thinking and I’ve been a fan of his sincetaking his workshop at VizThink 2008. Shortly thereafter, Dan’s seminal book Back of the Napkin was released and I immediately ate it up. Early in the book, Dan relates a story about using visual thinking to come up with a web strategy for an organization and he uses a visual model that I still think is the most succinct way of strategically analyzing any website. 3 Aspects of Any Website:  Brand – Functionality – Content Content – What people want to learn or know, or what you want your viewers to learn and know. Function – What do people want to do or what do you want them to do. Purchase a product. Register for a conference, class or workshop. Sign up for an email list. Watch a video. Brand – In Dan’s model, brand is defined as, what will people remember. My interpretation of brand in this model is the style, look and personality of the website. In Dan’s model, the three nodes are each the same size, implying equal weight and emphasis for each. But in reality, each of these aspects is going to have varying importance from one website to the next. Many websites place an enormous emphasis on style, the Brand node, focusing on slick, stylish graphics, but have very little content. Others might place limited emphasis on stylish looks and have tons and tons of content for readers. Function is usually driven by what kind of business and website you have. An informational website will have...