Imagine you have a room in your house right now.
You decide to turn it into your showroom of your best products. But you have hundreds of products plus brochures. You also have a signboard and information about your company. You also have paperbags, wrapping paper and other stuff related to these products.
You believe your customers will want to have a look at all your products plus all the available information about you. So you decide to put all these things into your room.
Soon the room is packed to the ceiling with products. You can’t really walk into this room any more. Even you don’t want to walk into this room. It’s overwhelming.
You say,”Everything is important. Everything is for sale. I need to show I have good choices for my customers.”
Everything in this room is vying for attention.
Your Customer Gets Horrified
When your customer decides to look into this room, she is horrified. There are just too many things screaming for her attention. She knows you have good stuff but she isn’t going to stay any longer in this room. She cannot decide what to buy from you because everything is everywhere.
Soon, she tells you,”How about I come back another time? I really can’t decide right now.”
What she really is telling you is, I’m in no mood to make any selection because it’s too confusing for me. I wish you would tidy up this show room and make my buying easier. You haven’t so I am going elsewhere to shop!
Will she come back again?
Chances are, she won’t.
You’ve lost her because your showroom was too cluttered, your information was all over the place and it didn’t make her feel she could trust you. It’s too “pasar malam”!
What Your Website Should Be…
You know what? The ‘show room’ analogy above is really how websites work.
You see, all of us start out with a lot of exciting information, products, product specifications and stuff that we’d like to put on our websites. When we hire someone to design a website for us, we think this website is the hub for everything about us, our products, our business.
It’s true – to an extent.
You can put interesting information on your website but to the extent that it helps you convince your customers that you’re the choice for them. If your information does nothing but waffle, it’s time to remove it.
Here’s The Problem With Most Designers
The problem with most web designers is that they don’t care how much of stuff you put into your website. You keep sending them irrelevant information and they don’t curate nor advise you that it’s junk. They stuff this into your website.
In no time, your website is bloated, too cluttered, too difficult to navigate and too messy. That’s when customers arrive and take a look, get scared and leave!
That is why most websites are not user-friendly. They can’t because they are just too bloated with all sorts of nonsensical information – useful to no one except the website owner.
It happens a lot with NGO websites too. Aesthetically they’re not very pleasing. Added to that, they’re stuffed to the gills with everything they’ve done – even things which their target audience isn’t even interested in.
What a waste of time and energy!
So What’s A Good Website All About?
A good website is like a designer store.
Think of an LV or Coach store.
Or Dior or Emporio Armani. Something like the store in this photo below.
It has enough of products to tempt you to browse yet have enough breathing/browsing space when you’re a bit tired (think comfy sofas and armchairs).
It has discreet but attentive sales people who come forward if you need information (but only if).
If you prefer to shop and browse on your own, they will not hover or tail you. They give you space.
You know that the small selection of their best items have been pre-selected for their showroom. This is their best of the best and they are showing them to you. You will never be overwhelmed.
If you need extra information, the sales staff are trained to provide you what you need.
So a good website, besides being aesthetically pleasing, is about well-placed information at the right place and the right time.
The information is curated well – like a museum, they can show you all they have but they won’t because that mountain of information will boggle and confuse you. We only show you what you need to know in order to make that buying decision.
Does Curation Need Expertise and Experience?
You don’t need experience or expertise to upload every piece of information and rubbish to a website but you do need experience to decide which piece of information should go on a website. This part is what we call simplification or curation.
When your website contains curated information, your customers will love you. You have made their decision-making easier because you’ve done the hard work – you’ve digested and made sense of all the information and only given them what they should know.
If you don’t know how to give only the most important information to your customers on your website, your website will be passed over like the thousands of same-old websites on the Internet.
The next time you decide to redesign your website, look for people who can help you curate and simplify your website besides elevating your business to the level of a designer store. Yes, even if you’re an NGO.
If you revamp your website without revamping or simplifying or paring down or checking your content, you’re really wasting your money.