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How Often Should You Revamp Your Utility’s Website?

Have you ever visited a website you often frequent just to find that it’s been revamped, yet is now significantly less useful than before?

That’s the dilemma you face when it comes to deciding whether your utility’s site needs a facelift, a major revamping or should mostly be left alone.

A lot of companies — especially those in the retail world or those that cater to a youthful audience — redo their sites seemingly every year or so. That’s in part to stay hip and partly to improve efficiency, especially if they’re selling items from the site.

As a utility, these issues don’t really apply (wait, you mean hipsters aren’t checking out your utility’s site). You don’t need the latest technologies – which often don’t work that well anyway and can freeze up browsers.

That’s a good thing because it means you can focus on functionality. In other words, how well does your site work?

This is where focus groups come in handy.

Ask participants to do certain things on your site, and see how easily they’re able to complete them. Have them find key numbers and, depending upon the kinds of communications you offer, have them participate in things like live chats. See if they can access drop-down menus and are able to download documents.

Set up accounts and check that they are able to access them.

Run your tests on different browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Edge and Opera.

Don’t forget to run these tests on mobile devices as well, including those that run IOS and Android. Sites that work perfectly on desktops and laptops often are wonky on cell phones and tablets.

As for look and design issues, that’s more of a judgment call. In general, think less is more. Your pages don’t need to be stark, but too many sites jam on so much content that it’s hard to separate it in your mind.

Also remember that most of your visitors over the age of 40 will have difficulty reading smaller type. It’s imperative that your typeface is all 12-point or larger.

And don’t forget to review the content on your site on a regular basis. Remove or update outdated information. Consider the overall readability of the content, too; plain English is far more helpful to the average site visitor than technical jargon.

In short, remember that your website is an important gateway to your utility for many customers. Make that gateway as accommodating and welcoming as possible.

Andy Gotlieb's picture

Thank Andy for the Post!

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Discussions

Areg Bagdasarian's picture
Areg Bagdasarian on Feb 28, 2018 10:51 pm GMT

Well said. It is also high time that any large utility that wants to partake in the Internet of Things and engage more with Consumers should have a highly functional mobile site.

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