When's the last time you clicked around your own website?

Post date: Jun 12, 2015 8:04:12 PM

Judging from how bad many websites I visit are, I have a hunch that few business owners and leaders of organizations use their own websites. My health insurance company's website has at least 10 dead-ends. You keep following links to find what you want until you get the dreaded 404, Page Not Found. It appears that they put a new design on top of an older website and neglected to get rid of the old remnants. I tend to go down these rabbit holes every time I'm on the website. So I would bet you—or the insurance company executives—would, too.

My son's teachers' websites are unusable in different ways. That is, they're all different and all bad. I experimented with each of his seven teachers' sites to try to find his homework assignments for one day. I succeeded on only two of the websites. His biology teacher had a stunning site: bold graphics that jumped out at you from a sea of black. Visually, it was very appealing. But I clicked on every thing on her site and came up empty when I tried to find an assignment calendar or list of files to download. My daughter's school's website was atrocious in a different way, until I led a redesign of it. The link to the website the school used for logging the books the students read was hidden in plain site on the home page. It was there, but you couldn't see it because it was placed below the fold, to use an old newspaper term. You had to scroll to find the link, and it was buried among many other things, without a clear method of navigating through the site.

So it's a very good idea to visit your website monthly or even weekly. Pretend you're a customer or other stakeholder and try to find everything a customer might want to find. When you get lost or have trouble finding something, make a note. And change it. Or hire me to go through your website and tell you how to make it usable.