Every day of my life I surf the web and visit web sites. It is part of my job at Ketchum Manufacturing and web surfing is engrained in all of us now. I am of an age where I remember a time without the worldwide web although it does seem like a distant memory. Everywhere you look there are references to websites and everybody is always promoting them trying endlessly to draw traffic to their address. Site advertising is on cars and trucks, advertisements and commercials, on billboards, business cards, email signatures, and sales receipts. It’s even plastered across the backsides of boxers and MMA athletes while they fight. Web site addresses are everywhere.
In the museum industry that I sell products to, my customers preserve history so we can learn from and appreciate our ancestors and their achievements. The internet is about the future and was built on the ideal of transforming how we communicate. No other invention since the wheel or the discovery of electricity has impacted our lives like the web has. There is literally a world of information at your fingertips now and there doesn’t appear to be anything you cannot do or find on the internet.
I am pretty proficient on my computer and I know how to use the web to help make my life easier but it donned on me that I had no idea what went into building a website. I just took it for granted, you type something hit enter and there it is. So I was shocked when our company spent the winter creating a new web site. I have been here for 8 years and the website we had for much longer than that. It was time to freshen it up and put a new cyber face on our business. So we had a meeting, then more meetings, and after that we met to discuss having more meetings. We hired a specialist company who builds sites and we had conference call and web meetings to discuss our website, what we wanted, what we needed, and what could be achieved in the time we had allotted.
I certainly didn’t take the lead on this as I am far from qualified to do so but my colleague Lani did. We are a very diverse company with a wealth of information on our varying lines and product offerings. Tearing down our website and analyzing what was needed and what was duplication seemed to take as long as rebuilding it. Forgive me but what I refer to as the nuts and bolts of a website, the code, the back end, the underlying mechanics of the navigating of a site were simply things I took for granted. The amount of time they spent ensuring the navigation of our new site allowed customers to get where they wanted to go in as few click through as possible was really interesting for me to witness.
I surf the web differently today. Every once in a while I find myself critiquing sites for their ease of use as much as for the content they supply. I have a new found respect for web builders. Admittedly I had little knowledge of their existence before but after witnessing the process from the background I have a newfound appreciation for the work that goes into building a site.
Check out Lani’s hard work on our newly re-launched site. It’s based on the concept of the Windows 8 platform with sliding tiles. Ok I don’t know what that meant but I think it looks pretty good. There you can find all the information on the museum products we supply and often within three clicks or less. Ketchum Manufacturing can be found at www.ketchum.ca