The CEO wants a new site!

That is the scariest thing I hear in my business. Although the CEO may be right, it’s usually a bad sign if the CEO wants to be involved in the site re-design. The site is built for a company’s constituents, and that’s not the CEO. Too often, a CEO will see a competitor’s site, and uses that as a benchmark: “I want to have our site like xyz corporation!”. Unfortunately for the Web project manager (or the person assigned with the ungrateful task of managing a company’s Web presence) this is the kiss of death. Today, everyone is a Web expert, and the CEO always seems to be the most knowledgeable. A Web site is designed to provide information, data, service, etc. to a company’s constituents, all this taking into consideration the company’s brand. A competitor’s Web site, may or may not be the best guide for creating your site. It’s not a bad idea to look at other sites for design and organizational ideas, or to at least get a sense of direction, but this is done as part of a thorough analysis that starts with defining the Web strategy all the way to the publishing guidelines.