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Online business by example: heliotrope.ca

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This presentation was created for delivery as a guest lecture at the Dubai Women's College, April 2010.

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Online business by example: heliotrope.ca

  1. 1. Online Business by example: Heliotrope.ca Ross McKegney Dubai Women’s College April 14, 2010
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>About Ross McKegney + Heliotrope </li></ul><ul><li>Designing the heliotrope.ca website </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defining business objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web development process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Operations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feedback, Q&A </li></ul>
  3. 3. About me <ul><li>Canadian currently living in Toronto, Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Background in e-Commerce and m-Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Technology Strategy professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology business school </li></ul><ul><li>Works with several startup businesses, including Heliotrope </li></ul>Ross McKegney BA/BCS, MSc, MBA [email_address]
  4. 4. About Heliotrope <ul><li>Heliotrope is a social business with an innovative learning game called Prelude </li></ul><ul><li>Heliotrope is a startup business with one fulltime employee (the founder), and a network of strategic partners who resell the game </li></ul><ul><li>Clients include schools, colleges, community agencies, and workplace training </li></ul><ul><li>The revenue model is based on per-user licensing </li></ul>
  5. 6. Prelude Module 1: online psychometric test
  6. 7. Keynote report example
  7. 8. Prelude Module 2: individual iTag
  8. 9. Prelude Module 3: group weTag
  9. 10. Prelude Module 4: large group allTag
  10. 11. Why play Prelude? <ul><li>Prelude is a learning game that fosters Emotional Quotient (EQ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding of self </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding of others </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why is this important? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EQ is increasingly recognized as an important success factor in business ( for managers and their employees ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the process of developing EQ, the game also develops concrete skills such project management and negotiation </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Heliotrope online presence
  12. 14. Context <ul><li>The online channel is critical to Heliotrope’s success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heliotrope clients are located around the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prelude sells for a very low per-user price; sales and training must be delivered at very low cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As a growing enterprise operating in many industry verticals, we need a way to efficiently communicate new developments and research </li></ul></ul>
  13. 15. Heliotrope website: December 2009
  14. 16. Issues with the old site <ul><li>Text too small; unreadable </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of focus & structure </li></ul><ul><li>No segmentation of users </li></ul><ul><li>No calls to action </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom line: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Website did not meet corporate goals & objectives </li></ul></ul>
  15. 17. Business Objectives <ul><li>The new site must: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Segment users by industry : schools, agencies, and workplace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For new clients : allow for quickly learning Prelude basics, and drive them through the adoption process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For existing clients : provide a channel for market communication as the game evolves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be part of a broader technology platform that includes the online module 1, and a facilitator portal </li></ul></ul>
  16. 18. Customer decision proces Need Recognition & Problem Awareness Information Search Evaluation of Alternatives Purchase Post-Purchase Evluation Most shopping experiences follow this pattern Websites (and offline retail) should recognize this process, and adapt their offering to help guide customers through it The Internet is particularly effective at the first three steps of this process, although with e-Commerce we can do all of them
  17. 19. Decision process (Prelude) Need Recognition & Problem Awareness Information Search Evaluation of Alternatives Purchase Post-Purchase Evluation Educators spread word of the game virally Learn about the game & how to facilitate it Pilot the game on a small group basis Roll out to larger group (handoff to administration) Qualitative feedback, quantitative assessment
  18. 20. Impact to web design Educators spread word of the game virally Learn about the game & how to facilitate it Pilot the game on a small group basis Roll out to larger group Qualitative feedback, quantitative assessment Communicate latest research on EQ and its benefits. Make it easy for teachers and other practitioners to share information with their peers. Make it easy for a potential client to try Prelude with a class or other small group (for FREE) Provide the information that a decision-maker would need in order to make a purchase Heliotrope works with the leading vendors of quantitative assessment tools, and communicates findings through the Blog as studies are completed
  19. 21. <ul><li>Most users don’t really read web pages . Users looking for their ‘nugget’ of information are more like hunters than like someone out for a leisurely stroll. </li></ul>
  20. 22. Web Development Process <ul><li>There are three core activities to website development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wireframe / Information Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphic design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site development </li></ul></ul>
  21. 23. Initial wireframe
  22. 24. Wireframe refined
  23. 25. Graphic Design (Inspirations)
  24. 26. Graphic Design (draft 1 & 2)
  25. 27. Validating the design <ul><li>We used fivesecondtest.com </li></ul><ul><li>Lets you test design effectiveness: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Memory test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click test </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users have five seconds to look at an image of your website; then either click where they would go next (click test) or write down keywords that they remember (memory test) </li></ul>
  26. 28. Graphic Design (Draft 4) Approved! Now we start development.
  27. 29. Web Development <ul><li>We used WordPress as a software platform </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Robust content management system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many plugins available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to customize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The WordPress site would make it easy for Howard Esbin (the Heliotrope founder) to add new content: case studies and blog entries </li></ul></ul>
  28. 30. Browser testing
  29. 31. Launch! www.heliotrope.ca
  30. 32. website operations
  31. 33. Content management
  32. 34. Analytics
  33. 35. conclusions
  34. 36. Conclusions <ul><li>The website for heliotrope.ca is an important component of the marketing, sales, and overall operations of the company </li></ul><ul><li>We started with understanding the different types of customer, and designed a website that would their needs </li></ul><ul><li>The development process involved wireframes, graphic design, development, and testing </li></ul><ul><li>The heliotrope.ca website is dynamic, evolving over time with new content </li></ul>
  35. 37. Q & A

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