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06 August 2009

Rough Around the Edges

I was sitting on the porcelain throne the other day (sorry for the disturbing image that creates in your mind) when I noticed something about the pants I was wearing.

Instead of the rough, unfinished edges inside the pants, there were wrapped and finished edges. Even though it is never seen by anyone but the person wearing them.

I made sure the brand name was showing because I wanted to give props to a company that is apparently interested in excellence. Good job Union Bay.

Illustrates Excellence
This is a no-brainer for me. I can't help but look at illustrations like this and retrofit them to make sense to web design and web strategy.

In this case my question should be obvious:

Are our websites rough around the edges? Or do we take the time to 'wrap' and 'finish' the edges of our sites for our visitors?
There are many parts of our websites that visitors won't see - unless we don't take the time to develop these site components with excellence. Here are just a few of those "unseen" areas:
  • Are images optimized correctly for fast download speeds?
  • Are forms created well so people aren't filling out information we don't need?
  • Can visitors get to (almost) every page on the our websites in two clicks or less?
  • Is the site search intuitive so that it won't bring back numerous inconsequential pages?
  • Is the content "web happy" so people aren't reading through chapters of information to find what they are looking for?
  • Does the site flow well? Is there a logical and practical navigation strategy so people always feel like they are in control and not the website?
  • Are the basics in the footer? People typically look for things like address, contact info and quick links in the footers of our websites.
  • Many more...
That was a short list, but always be on the lookout for ways to keep our websites from becoming rough around the edges...