We work with all sorts of life science company websites for a multitude of purposes. One thing strikes us over and over and over again. A lot of life science websites seem to be designed without a well-defined purpose in mind. Companies (and the life science marketers working for them) seemingly treat their websites like a chandelier – they want really pretty websites that you can’t really do much with. Likewise, a lot of designers know that an eye-catching, flashy site will earn the rubber stamp of the executive who needs to sign off on it, regardless of whether or not it’s particularly functional. That’s simply no good.
If you don’t know the purpose of your website, you are most likely losing lots of money because of it.
The first thing I ask our clients when designing sites is “what is the purpose of this website?” It seems like a simple question, but a lot of people don’t have a straight answer for it. Those that do often have a simple answer such as “provide information about our company and our products” or a vague answer such as “project our brand identity.” That’s not good enough.
The purpose of your website should be centered around the customer.
Ultimately, your company exists to sell a product or service to scientists and / or clinicians. What is it that your website is doing that is moving them closer to a purchase? Is it doing as much as it can? For example, if you want your website to sell your products, then ask yourself how you intend to sell your products and design your website with that in mind. Do you need them to contact a distributor? Are most of your customers going to want to talk to an application scientist? Can they purchase on-site? … Your website needs to provide prospective customers with everything they need to take the action that you want them to.
How good it looks is not the metric that measures the quality of a website. Sure, everyone like an attractive website, but at the end of the day your website is there for a purpose. How well your life science website serves that purpose is the true measure of its quality, and defining and understanding that purpose is critical. (P.S. – Don’t forget to measure how well your website is performing!)