Sunday, December 02, 2007

Make It Clear

SwaddleMeOK, I'm back.

My apologies for the two-week hiatus, but getting used to having the little one around the house has taken a little bit of doing. Oh, and just so you are forewarned, it's entirely likely that my posts may be in some way baby related for some time to come. I'll try to restrain myself as much as possible.

I did run into a situation with regards to being a new father that ties in with having a good website. In short: Make it clear.

Lisa and I received a wonderful little garment for Kaylie called a SwaddleMe. Imagine a T-shaped piece of cloth with the corners rounded and the center bar of the T is a little pouch. The function is pretty straightforward. You put the baby's feet in the pouch and then wrap the "arms" around her body.

The thing that confused us was that there were two pieces of velcro on the end of one of the arms. They were the "hook" half of the closures. The problem was, we couldn't find the "loop" half. They wouldn't even latch on to the fabric from with the garment was made. We were stumped.

No one should make any sort of baby product whose function is not immediately and obviously apparent to a sleep-deprived new parent! If I have to read the instructions then I'm going to get mildly grumpy.

In the same way, a website should be equally clear. If your users have to think in any way about how to traverse your site, then they will get grumpy and they will leave. The biggest challenge that many people face is that they want to put everything on their front page. They are trying to write the great American novel.

What they should be writing is the best billboard which your visitors can read at 60 miles per hour.

So, what products have you run into which could have been a bit more obvious?

1 comment:

Jacki Hollywood Brown said...

Having gone through the sleep deprived parent thing (twice), I totally understand the KISS (keep it simple sleepyhead) philosophy.

Don't worry, it will get better...until they are teenagers and start staying out all night in which case you will be a sleep deprived parent again!