User Experience Totally Lacking from Major Corporate Website
Well, count me stunned. Dumbfounded. Shocked. Well, maybe not shocked.
A respected colleague and I met two weeks ago. He asked me details about my work. I told him that one of the best ways to understand it is to read the type of review I write on Website content. He agreed, so I reviewed the site and wrote the critique.
The company in question (naming names is not ethical in my book) is well known worldwide and has been for at least 75 years, maybe 100. What I thought I was going to do was go to a site that was well-crafted in every way and that all I was going to be able to do was to talk about problems that might exist. I was very wrong. This company made almost every classic content mistake I have ever seen.
The site content was almost 100% inwardly focused on what they do and not outwardly focused on what they do for other businesses or people. It was full of facts with little substance. They did a good job of telling me what they provided, but hardly a word of how it might affect the end-user. In other words, it was feature-laden and nearly benefit-free.
As an aside, this always takes me back to my first day on the job with Scott Paper Company in the 1970′s at their headquarters in Philadelphia. It makes me want to personally go back and thank the trainers they had. I remember you Howie Grant and Bill Cope and Jesse Shaudies and others. I remember the Pygmalion Effect. It still holds true today and is still all about expectations.
But how could this happen? It appears that whoever led the Website design team had no knowledge of user experience design which is one of the main keys to Website effectiveness today. In order for Websites to work as intended, the content must engage and motivate the reader into taking action in our favor.
I wonder if the world wide market share of this company is shrinking. I bet it is.