Website for an Online Game Development Company

Executive summary

The purpose of this report is to detail the findings to the web developer on the key issues to consider while planning for the development of the website. The paper highlights the key objective of the websites, which includes the creation of direct revenue streams for the company through direct sales, enhanced usability, as well as providing useful information to users through hyperlinks. Furthermore, the paper highlights the major components that the web developer needs to consider for inclusion in the process of planning the website. The report finds out that weblogs, navigation elements, web-based videos, social media activities are some of the major elements useful for an online game marketing website.

Furthermore, the paper identifies the potential target market for the company’s products as both geographical and virtual. The geographical market for the company’s products exists within the United States of America, the European Union, as well as new emerging markets such as China. To access these markets, the paper identifies useful tools. These include avatar communities such as “Second Life”. Within the paper, the schematic layout of the website is provided together with the homepage design. The website colour schemes are also provided. Finally, a conclusion on the major repost finding is offered.

Introduction

As one of the marketing tools, the company needs to develop a website that will facilitate not only marketing but also the distribution of its gaming product. The company has chosen to outsource the website development idea from a web development company. Before the website is developed, it is worth noting that there needs to be proper prior preparation. These steps, while not limited, include the development of the website concept. Since the development of a website concept is a complicated concept, the company has outsourced web development services from a company that has a passion for developing video game websites. This is advantageous since such a company will clearly understand the objectives of the website as well as the type of users for the website.

Furthermore, the web developer needs to put several things into consideration before developing the website. These include safety feature as well as the cultural sensitivities of the possible users of the website. The web developer needs to put into consideration the inclusion of several key components such as social media services, weblogs, web-based videos and other multimedia components, Mashups and navigation elements. This will make the website not only be attractive to possible users but also enhance usability.

Objectives of the website

Being a marketing website, the main objective of the website is to create direct sales through online selling. This will be attained by selling directly to the target market. In this case, the website will aim at attracting direct source of revenue through online orders (Miletsky 307).

This means that buyers who wish to use gaming products will be able to make online orders (LS Online School 4, 5). The success of creating revenues through this website will be achieved through enhanced customer services (Computer Weekly 29). This will be enabled through the availability of online payment methods as well as online product delivery. Delivery of the company’s products through the website online delivery mechanism is easier, cheaper faster and efficient as compared to traditional physical distribution.

Other than creating direct sales, one of the main objectives of the website is to build a company brand image as well as the products brand image. To attain this, the website will provide dummies of games available for clients to test the features of the real products. Furthermore, the website is purposed to increase the awareness of both the existing clients and possibly new clients about the company (PinPoint 1). This will be attained through the development of a special postcard on the website. Within the postcard will be important information such as a brief introduction about the company. The company’s logo will also be embedded in the postcard.

Furthermore, within the postcard will be crucial information about the services and products offered. Each of the services offered will be briefly described to ensure that prospective buyers access as much information as possible. Importantly, within the postcard will be the company’s contacts information including emails, telephone numbers and physical address.

The website aims at providing as much information as possible as well as creating direct revenue. This implies that the website has to act as the main tool for advertising the company’s products. In this regard, the website will incorporate multimedia advertising tool. One of the multimedia tools that the website will carry includes short video clips of the company’s products. The web developer will be required to create links and spaces for short videos. The website will also carry short adverts in video format. Other than the video, the website will also contain other multimedia tools such as banners, popups and flyers, which as compared to video take less space (Jiang 2, 3).

Components of the website

Social media activities

One of the main elements of the website will be social media activities. The developers will be required to develop a social media environment within which clients will be able to connect, share and spread information via social media tools. The developer will be required to enable the website with possible functions that will allow users of the company’s products’ to share, as well as spread information through text, photo as well as video messages on one client to another or from one user to many. This implies that the website developer must allow the website users to create social networks within and without the site.

The usability of social media tools will be enhanced if the developer also considers the inclusion of such social media platforms such as widget and other social media application. To facilitate the success of social media activities, the developer needs to put several factors into consideration. The developer needs to identify the most popular social network tools available. These include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and blogs (ACMA 10). The developer also needs to understand the motivation of why people use social media and thus create the necessary environment that allows for the right use of social media within the website.

Furthermore, the web developer will need to understand the behaviour of social media user and thus develop controls that will enhance appropriate use of the website for social media activities without any form of abuse (Kim 8).

The web developer will need to come with creative approaches that will enhance the success of social media tool in enhancing the promotion of the company’s brand as well as products (Kim 10). This will ensure that social media activities within the website are not merely passive activities but goal-oriented. Also, the incorporation of social media component will ensure social mobility, which in itself is a vital marketing tool for the company’s products (Burke 3)

Mashups

The main purpose of the website is to market online games. As such, it needs to contain Mashups since to enable the operability of numerous applications combinedly. These are applications that do allow for the combination of more than one online technology without changing or modifying the operation code of these technologies (Pautasso 4) as such Mashups are vital tools for this website bearing in mind that they will allow the website to combine and use more than one online technology, such as the combination of the company’s games and online applications that support mapping.

Through enterprise Mashups, the developer will allow the website to run trial versions of its games and combine them with maps (Kulkarni 4). To allow for maximum security, the developer needs to incorporate JavaScript technology (Bohannon 1) As such, because online mapping applications run on high-resolution web interface they will allow users to choose desirable locations on earth where they want to run their games (Educause 1).

Navigation elements

One of the main objectives of this website is to enhance customer services. His will be attained through, among other things, ease of navigation. The developer needs to incorporate user-friendly navigation elements within the website (Krug 20).

The most efficient way to achieves ease in user navigation is to use appropriate menu types (Cooke 15). The developer will provide descriptive lab tags and labels, as well as provide hyperlinks for pages that might contain added information (Diaper and Waeland 10). Furthermore, the developer will allow the website to open new WebPages on new browser tabs, especially for external websites. If the website contains numerous sources of data that cannot be contained within the homepage, the developer will provide a hyperlinked table of contents (Omanson 67).

Weblogs

While the website provides social media activities for networking it is important to provide a platform on which both user and administration of the website provide commentaries, reviews and views on the company, the website and the products on offer. This will be attained through weblogs. Like social media, weblogs will enhance a sense of community amongst users of this website (Educaause ‘blogs’ 1).

The importance of a weblog fir this site is that it will allow for ease of creation of multiple WebPages for Admin, without necessarily having to know how to use such tools as HTML (SWU 2). Because blogs are user-based, they must be easily visible. In this regard, the developer will enable the user of this website to view all blogs through the ‘view site entries’ (Trinity University 169).

Web-based videos

Web-based videos have increasingly become very popular with web users (Mitra, Agrawal, Yadav, Mahanti, Eager and Carlsson 3). As mentioned above, video is some of the multimedia tools that will be sued for advertisements. Not only will the video on this website carry short adverts but also carry short demonstration on the available products. As such, the developer will be required to develop links which connect the users to these videos.

Furthermore, to add to the usability of web based videos, the web developer will be required to have an inbuilt video player within the website or convert the uploaded videos into formats that are playable through universal applications. The developer needs to also take into consideration security issues concerning the users of the web-based video within the website. To avoid misuse and instances of hacking where unauthorized users may upload a video onto the website, and protect the website from such other vulnerabilities, the developer will use secure systems such as resource access permit (Scarfone, Winograd and Singhal 34; Lee 21).

It is important to note that some of the videos and products will be on the pay-per-use module. As such, the developer will enable an inbuilt pay-per-view function within the website using such a platform as Simple billing protocol (Zhou and Lam 319).

Target market

The success of the website marketing for the company’s’ online games depends on how successfully the company identifies and reaches the target audiences (Miletsky 299). Suffice to say that the website developers need to understand that the game will attract both domestic and foreign market. In this regard, consumers of the company’s products need to be segmented into two basic part: local and international consumers (Lee, Suh, Kim and Lee 560).

Both of these consumers are to be found within the virtual world, especially in avatar communities. Numerous avatar communities have emerged, such as “Second Life”. “Second Life” is a market within the virtual world where members assume alternative identities and take avatar personalities. In “Second Life” the game will find a ready market since there exist more than 100,000 residents all looking for online experience in gaming. The biggest advantage with “Second Life” is that residents within this virtual community are not a passive online buyer but actively engaged. To make most sales, the website will not target every “Second Life” resident but those residents who provide credit card information through registration (Hemp 1, 2).

Regarding geographical boundaries, it is worth to note that some regions provide sufficient markets for these games more than others. The United States remains the most alluring market for online games, while the European Union presents the company with potential market targets for its products. Asia and specifically China, are also emerging as a new market for online games due to the liberalization of the intended usage. As such, the developer needs to develop the website to appeal to users from these markets (Matusza and Chair 4)

Successful marketing will entail a clear understanding of the cultural differences, social attributes that influence consumer market behaviours (Cheung, Zhu, Kwong, Chan and Limayem 200). Just as in the real world, some factors influence consumer behaviour in virtual markets. Cultural differences play a vital role as consumers in the virtual world come from a different cultural background with a perceived cultural orientation that influences consumer tastes (Chau, Cole, Massey, Montoya-Weiss, and O’Keefe 138-143).

Despite the rise and popularity of online marketing, several issues need to be put into consideration by the website developer. Some of these issues include security concerns for their personal information. Since the buyer will most likely pay through their credit cards, they need to be ensured of the security of their credit card numbers. The website security features must thus avoid the perceived security risk that influences consumer behaviour (Tan166; Featherman and Pavlou 1034-1046).

Also, the website must also help its virtual users from virtual communities to overcome practical problems faced by many public websites. These problems include unstable systems, malicious attacks, as well as the avoidance of grief players. In this regard, the website developer is required to have enhanced safety features within the website that will assure the users of the website are not subject to such attacks. This will enhance the perceived website reliability, which in turn enhances loyalty on the company’s products by the consumers (Hsu and Lu 1642-1659).

Websites basic scheme

Websites basic scheme

Website homepage layout

Website homepage layout

Website colour palette

Website colour palette

Conclusion

For the website to be successful in marketing and distributions of the company’s products, the developer needs to understand the objectives of the website. These objectives c include maximizing sale through direct online selling, distribution of the company products through downloads, and the enhancement of usability and improved user experience. The usability of the website is also enhanced through several components.

These include web-based videos, Mashups, social media tools, weblogs and navigation elements. Furthermore, some features will be crucial in creating customer loyalty. These include enhanced security for user details as well as the ability of the website to overcome common logging problems such as poor system stability. If the developers follow these guidelines, the company is assured of successfully utilizing the website.

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