Date

6-2010

Degree Name

BS in Graphic Communication

Department

Graphic Communication Department

Advisor(s)

Lorraine Donegan

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to discover the most effective and successful strategies of web design and development for small businesses. A small business’ web site is an increasingly critical marketing tool that can even drive profits if used correctly. This study makes an example of a web site redesign for Linnaea’s Café, a coffee house, art gallery, and music venue in San Luis Obispo, California. The web site redesign was developed using a dynamic content management system to allow easy, frequent updates to the site by the café’s manager.

To determine what consumers want and expect to see on a small business’ web site, a survey was created and delivered to Cal Poly students, a big percentage of customers at Linnaea’s Café. The survey showed that most people go to a small business’ web site for basic information such as location and store hours, and almost everyone agrees that it is important for the web site to be attractive. However, a vast majority of respondents also concluded that a dynamic web site that is regularly updated with fresh content would be valuable for a small business.

When the web site redesign for Linnaea’s Café was completed, a short survey was sent to customers that frequent the café. The survey asked the customers to view the old version of the web site and the new version of the web site, and then answer multiple choice questions about whether or not there was an improvement in overall look and navigation. The customers also provided open-ended feedback. Overall, all survey respondents felt that the new web site was a significant improvement with better navigation. Dynamic web development was very successful in this case, and should be considered for any small business’ web site due to its ease of updating and added incentive for repeat visits.

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