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adventures in thought

The internet is littered with a vast number of ineffective websites that - at some point - represented someone's' hopes and dreams. Some have been abandoned, most will probably just be allowed to continue because ... well, because the owner spent a lot of their hard earned money getting them built.

How has this happened? How can so many 'professional' web sites be so poor? Many look very good - indeed, some look quite fantastic.

There's a phrase I see used by website companies that I think hints at the problem - it says something like "we create websites our clients love".    And this sets off alarm bells for 2 reasons :

Reason 1  How many clients are website experts? How many genuinely understand exactly what it is they are trying to achieve? How many have studied up to date best practice?  Have all the clients been trained in sales and marketing? Google optimisation ?

I suspect not. So what this 'client love' comes down to is often ... "it looks nice."

Reason 2 It makes the often fatal assumption that the website is for the client. It isn't. It is for the clients'  customers.

So it looks good and the client thinks it is 'informative ' or ' very interesting'. Of course it is - to them! It's an ego thing, it's their business and the website is all about their business.

The client probably also thinks it is 'easy to use'. The problem is that because the client knows their business inside out, of course it is easy to do things / find things / buy things etc. They cannot replicate the naivety of their customers.

Whether it's the cafe website that doesn't tell you when they are open ( or more importantly, closed),  the ecommerce site that doesn't tell you the delivery charge until you check out, the fashion website that only has items categorised by designer, the accountants website that has a whole homepage telling you about their qualifications ( and how long it took each of them to get them), the shop site that seems to hide their telephone number, or simply a site that doesn't work on your smartphone... They were, I'm sure, all loved by their owners. At least to begin with...

Why so many websites are pretty useless.

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