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July 9, 2013 / rusitecore

Explaining Usability

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to be engaging you in several short discussions about content usability.   Some may think that what you put on the website is just words on a page, similar to words in a book, but it is so much more than that.

First, please realize the importance of your role as Sitecore editor/approver for your College or Department.  You have been entrusted with the public face to the world for your department/college, which means you are in charge of how the world perceives Roosevelt University. Wow. That’s an ambassadorship for sure and a very important task – not one to be taken lightly.  Consider the very common scenario below:

  1. Wow, I somehow came to/ended up on this website. What’s in it for me?  Does this site have what I want/need?
    YES:  Great! Keep searching (proceed to #2 below)
    NO:  Oh well. Leave (and probably never return because there is no reason to, but no hard feelings)
  2. This content looks like it is something I want to know more about – Can I find more specific info?
    YES:  Great! I’ll keep reading and looking around (proceed to #3 below)
    NO:  Hm. Leave (and probably never return because of mild irritation)
  3. Here is my info! Is it interesting, easy to read and thorough?
    YES! Great! I’m going to keep looking at your website and/or contact your institution
    NO! Gaah! I’m frustrated! I’m leaving and never returning and now I have a bad feeling about your Instutution (not your specific College or Department, but the University as a whole because I don’t care how you are divided up internally. The website is a collective representation of the University.)

Of course that is just a dramatization, but you can see how users can quickly get frustrated.

Some may think that the more content they throw out to the website, the better, but the opposite is true.  The web environment is very fast-paced. The #1 thought on a user’s mind when they come to your website is “What’s in it for me?”.

My goal over the next few weeks is to familiarize you with how to put GOOD content out there, not necessarily MORE content.  This will make it better for our users to find the info they need more quickly, and better for you because there won’t be as much to manage.

NEXT TIME:   Effective Content – how relevant is your message?

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