According to the American Heritage Dictionary and the Collins English Dictionary, courtesy of The Free Dictionary, there are several definitions for the word objective. Here are a couple summarized definitions:
- Objective: (noun) goal, purpose, aim. Example: “His main objective during high school was to graduate as Valedictorian.”
- Objective: (adjective) independent of your emotions, preferences, preconceptions. Based on fact rather than feeling or opinion. Example: “The scientific quantitative observation is based on an objective value such as a numerical reading off of a scale. By contrast, the qualitative observation is based on conception or perceived appearance such the color of a solution.”
So what do these definitions of the word objective have to do with websites? Well quite a lot actually. In the first blog entry in this series, let’s talk about the noun form of the word objective as it is related to websites and start off by asking some questions. What is the objective or goal of your website? What do you want your website to do? Why does it exist? For example, the website of Reflections Dance of McKinney is primarily an informative website. This dance studio located in McKinney, Texas wants to have web presence and provide information for current and prospective dancers. On the other hand, some websites have the main objective of e-commerce or being a storefront online. This is seen in the Sudsy Soapcakes site as this artisan soap company showcases and sells their handmade soap via their website. Below are some example objectives that websites can have. Websites may be designed with one or several of these objectives in mind. Note that this incomplete list is not arranged in any particular order and is not given in any organized hierarchy.
- Informative: Objective: provide information to people. Wikipedia, About.com, and Ask Jeeves are some examples that come to mind.
- E-commerce: Objective: buying and selling products and services online. Some well-known large scale product e-commerce examples are Amazon and E-bay.
- Social: Objective: Connect people by providing networking and communication tools. Facebook, Google +, and Twitter are some website examples with a social goal.
- Media: Objective: Bring music, images, video and other forms of audio and visual media to users. YouTube and Hulu are great examples of video driven media sites. Pandora is a popular example of an audio focused website.
- Software: Objective: provide downloadable software that provides a service. Some examples include virus software like McAfee or entertainment software like iTunes.
- File Transport: Objective: Help people get their files to one another. Dropbox and We Transfer are examples of some website that help people share files legitimately.