I was in a client meeting yesterday, and a very interesting thing happened.  As we were reviewing website, the UE Web guy pulled up the Basecamp website.  After reviewing this site, which is pretty unique in its streamlined direct marketing approach, he said, “In many ways this site is designed like an app, not a website”.  He said this because the site eschews classic website navigation for a more structured progression through screens, like navigating a mobile app.  The user is led through a series of intuitive steps all leading the user to sign up for a trial.

Now, there’s a lot to like and quite a bit I could criticize about the Basecamp site, and their approach is not right for everyone.  But that simple statement, “…this site is designed like an app” got me to thinking differently about website design.

What if our corporate sites were finally able to shed the brochure-ware legacy of the last nearly 20 years.  Move past the destination site mantra of 10 years ago and beyond the “content marketing” hub idea in vogue today and start to think like this.  “My website is an App that goal is to guide the visitor through the buying process, it’s not for everyone, but if you come because you are a possible customer, it will hum beyond belief”

What if instead of hiring a web designer, you hired an app designer and said, “My prospects go through a process of Discovery, Exploration, Evaluation/Trial and Purchase” build me an app that helps them do that quickly, efficiently and effectively.  My goals and to educate, engage and covert them through the phases.”  The entire website becomes a “Buying experience”, immersive, focused and powerful.

If you started there, how different would your website be?  What would the implications of this be on some of the “Marquee pages” we focus on today, like “Company” and “Customers”…how would this change our lead capture and nurturing strategies?

Just thinking about this for a bit, this seems to be a transformative idea and I’m pretty excited about exploring it more.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this approach, anyone you know who has taken it, and whether it’s exciting to you too…

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