Is Your Web Site Helpful, Courteous and Well Mannered?
Since I work on the front line doing web design as well as online marketing it can be easy to have contempt for the ignorant wretched hordes that storm the web site for information along with the uninformed plebs that ask for the web site to be built in the first place with little or no concept of how web design and development really works.
But tisk tisk, I also need to remember that good web design is good PR.
When it comes to social media most get it, if not in practice then in theory. There is the well known story of Comcast’s customer service manager Frank Eliason who came uses Twitter to listen and interact with customers and deal with questions and complaints. (I hope you are listening to your users through social media).
However, when it comes to your plain-ol’-web site, is your web site a good listener? and more importantly, is your web site a good helper? Is it respectful? is it courteous?
It goes without saying that you should have away for users to contact you. If not through a form then through an regularly checked email account such as firstname.lastname@example.org
Also listening to your users by means of analytics and surveys. The analytics give you the numbers – unique pageviews, bounce rates etc. Surveys help make sense of the numbers by giving you the customers intent.
Analytics is more than just a popularity contest between web pages. It can tell you if users your site are finding the information they need or are leaving frustrated and confused.
As far as surveys, the simplest (or the least unobtrusive) survey would be to include a “Rate this Page” and feedback widget on every page (or at least every page on certain sections). One of the nicest implimentions that I have seen so far was on Informz.com. Sadly while they provide email and and survey support their rate this page widget is not available as of yet.
And as far as dealing with the uninformed plebs asking me to design or help with their web content..? Jim Cheshire a Microsoft Expresion, Moderator posted a great anecdote on that subject which helps remind me all have our talents and that the brightest people can be the worst web designers and we need to respect and we patient with that and appreciate each other for the knowledge and talents we have.