My top things a website should do:
- Engage with an audience from their perspective
- Establish trust and authenticity – the right messages
- Provide something of value so it’s “sticky” – come back to this site over and over
- Organize navigation according to the audience’s mindframe and interests – you can find all you need
- Provide interactive components – participate
- Show, don’t tell: use story and compelling messengers to get your point across
These are the basics but many sites just don’t do this. It seems so easy and natural to think like your customers when building communication tools but many get it so wrong. They focus on the look and feel and forget the content and reason for the customer going to the site in the first place.