March 30, 2010

Websites are ____(fill in the blank)

What are RBA’s website goals?  Why is a website important?  What is RBA trying to do now with it’s website?

The question was discussed in a group format. Randy, Jon, and I were all participates of the conversation. This question was brought up because RBA is in the process of redesigning the RBA  website.

RBA’s first website went live in 1997. Randy compares it to paper brochure.  There was little information expressing the firms’ philosophy and values.  Little interactivity.  Little ideas.  The current website is around five years old. It is out of date. It does not tell the real story of our office and where we are going.   All our current and recent past workis missing because the current website cannot be updated easily.  RBA’s goal with the website design is to create a system that can be constantly updated.

Technology is advancing and it seems impossible to keep up to pace.  And a user comes back to the site a few times and all of the pages look the same, the user leaves because users need frsh stuff. New experiences.   Websites are a drug for those hooked and Randy wants his new RBA website to be constantly updated with new content weekly.

Randy wants the viewer to be able to see something new on the main page every time they come to the site.  RBA’s plan to accomplish this is to have a slide show appear on the opening page. But, each time you open the page a new slide show will play. It will seem like the website is constantly changing and it will be. Throughout time the website will evolve because more projects will come, and causes more information and images to emerge on the site.  Ideas will be shared on the blogs and news areas.  Randy’s speaking gigs will be updated.  The website is becoming the archiver of everything the office does.

The website is also important because it is THE major way RBA communicates with the world. The internet is a major part of today’s lifestyle.  It is a way to organize the firm. Everyone on RBA’s network will have access.  It will be a way to communicate with clients. There will be a log in area for clients and special news features for clients to view. Drawings, renderings, and models will be capable to upload on the website for clients to view and comment upon. Client meetings will not be eliminated but it will reduce the need for unnecessary conferences.

RBA’s goal of the website is to become a two way communication vehicle. Previous websites have only communicated in one direction. They stated the RBA information and showed images.  There was no interaction with the viewer. RBA revolves around interaction. The designs and the RBA studio express and encourage interaction. It would only make sense to have the website interactive. To create a two way connection Randy is adding blogs to the website.  These blogs will be written by the RBA Studio but they will allow for anyone to give their option.  Blogs are becoming extremely popular and are being used by millions. It is an easy way to describe what is going on in the world today. They will allow us to get our ideas out there and receive feedback.  Fans will be able to learn more and follow the studio’s work.

Another goal of is to express ourselves with more than text and images. We want to use music and videos to convey our ideas.  This is a way to be the innovator.  RBA is not about the past or today; RBA is about the future. Randy wants to be a leader in the technology aspect of the design field.  The RBA website allows communication that we hope will move the architectural community forward.

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