Guy Kawasaki has a post reviewing Gerry McGovern's The Stranger’s Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online.
Three useful ideas from Guy's post:
There is always a key task users come to the site to do. That is especially good for me this week, as last weekend I realized most visitors to the Sales Lab site want to know the date and place of our next free show. So I made a new, high priority link in the navigation.
Guy makes the point that internal users often don't know that task, and that is easily observable watching real users. Seen that.
Designers don't see the offer as users do. The traditional first step is collecting all the things we might do. The profitable (and later) process is to find out what the customers want to do, and refine the website so it is easier and easier to do. Redesign means losing your baseline and starting over. Websites get better, not finished.
Internal power plays keep website as billboard. Even as the mind accepts that a good website is a transactional website, the heart says I need placement on our website to make sure I'm not losing anything.
Communication is not "not losing." Communication design is putting something out that wins customers.
When I was selling COBOL, a 50 year old product, at one point I made a conscious decision to change my marketing focus every 60 days, like a cosmetic or other consumer non-durable - “COBOL to the web”, “GUI COBOL”, “Putting Lipstick On The Pig, where COBOL is going and why.” The result was sales increased, but customers were still buying what they needed, not what I was selling. I had mindshare as they were deciding to buy.
So, why do you think websites suck?
Other presentations you might enjoy:
Talk Your Business - How to make more and better sales right away! Wednesday, November 10th, 7:15am to 8:30, Intelligent Office, Rockville, and
How to Scale Your Organization - Build, Borrow, or Buy? Thursday, December 9th, 7:15am to 8:30, Intelligent Office, Rockville
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