In Seth Godin's latest Blog entry, Should The IT Guys Run Your Website?, the marketing master discovers a minor glitch on the Air Canada website during his transaction that is the single thread that unravels the whole ball of yarn. What's funny (by funny, I mean sad) is that most people's first instinct is to call in the "IT Guys" the minute someone mentions the need for a website. If you've read my screams, rants and Blog entries I liken this to calling Canada Post when you want to develop a direct marketing campaign (Canada Post is the delivery mechanism for your marketing message - not the people creating and developing your message and materials).
Yesterday morning's "Website Usability - Tiny Changes Big Rewards" presented by the CMA (Canadian Marketing Association) session featuring Tara O'Doherty (National Director, Usability Group for Fjord Interactive Marketing + Technology) had a lot of intelligence on Seth's exact issue. The real question you need to ask about your website is: can a user get on, get the information they need and get out without mistakes or being frustrated?
How do you get as close to that as possible when developing a website? (Hint: it's called pre-production, usability and functionality and iterative design). Make your site efficient and effective from the context of who, what, where, when, why and how someone is using your website and provide them with satisfaction and comfort. It sounds easy... even simple, but how many companies actually look for potential bottlenecks, frustrations or spend a couple of hours walking in their customer's shoes?
Thanks for turning the light switches on Seth and Tara.
Hey Air Canada, give us a call!