How should we view a site?

I suppose I’m split on this issue. I work in an internet marketing firm. So, by default, I am required to look at a website from a marketing perspective and make recommendations and implement marketing strategies for my clients.

Unfortunately, my background is not in marketing. I was trained to look at a website from a purely interactive [strategy] standpoint. I am generally not constrained by one discipline or another in my views.  My background is in online PR and usability (I did dabble in information architecture a bit).

So it’s more me looking at a site and thinking ‘what’s pretty, what’s not pretty’ or ‘this site is completely non-user friendly and nothing is intuitive’, rather than ‘how can I get more leads or more sales?’ I have learned internet marketing while I’ve been at this company, and by no means am I an expert at it. I tend to run back to my Seth Godin book more times than I can count for inspiration (while not all of his book deals with marketing — it certainly does make my mind work, which I’m forever grateful for).

There are advantages, when one works for a marketing firm — to look at the site from the POV of a marketer. However, I guess it depends on what the point of your position is. I still can’t help looking at it from a usability perspective — which will ultimately help the consumer in the end.

There are just so many ways to view a site, how do you view it?

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