How many of you have visited shoreline ridge’s website within the past weeks?  Despite our difference in space and time, I can tell that the answer is 0.  The reason is that someone had a few “good ideas” and put up a website without a plan.  Unless you’re lucky and stumble upon the right idea, you need a reason, a mission to get the job done.

 That means that you need to start with purpose and an idea of the “squishy” words of how you want your users to feel.  For shoreline, the answers are “community,” “fun,” and “friendship.”  Everything that we put on that page should be relevant to those words.  So if I have a widget, let’s say a calendar, I need to make sure that my calendar has the capability of forming community, fun and/or friendship.  If my calendar events relvove around when rent is due and fees go up, I’ve probably missed the boat.

 So where do the ideas of what we need come from?  The target market!  If you are connected, you can run ideas past them, and get an initial impression.  For instance, the Shoreline community wants a classified section.  People are not only motivated to get rid of stuff they don’t have room for or don’t want to move (especially the international students), but also residents that are looking for cheap stuff.

 Keep an eye on  You’ll be able to judge how well I follow my own advice and target my market.