Archive for December, 2011

How Website Content Almost Stole Christmas

December 14, 2011

Recently I put on my elf hat and did a little online shopping to help Santa. I was looking for one item, a programmable robot from a large toy company. I thought this would be a quick transaction but after an hour or so I felt more like the Grinch than a happy little elf.

I wanted to be sure the robot was compatible with my computer and that it would work Christmas morning. The toy description said “Easy-to-use software (PC and Mac).” That was it. It did not answer the question – what operating system?

Then the real work began. In search of the answer I went through the support section labyrinth where I got mired down in very technical verbiage using programming specific terminology. Somewhere along the way they seem to have forgotten that parents and not computer engineers were the target market.

It is so easy to fall into “industry-speak” especially when you are engrossed in that business everyday. It is also easy to skim over or omit information because it seems so basic, but for a layman is important. Whether the business is toys, garden supplies or healthcare we should always step back and evaluate what we are saying and how we are presenting the content to our target audience. Are we really talking to them or are we talking to ourselves and peers to some degree. Are we making it easier or harder for them?

If there had been any other item on my son’s list, I would have abandoned the painful robot search. The robot will be waiting Christmas morning and it had better work.


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