I was reminded of something today; something that I thought I’d learned long ago, but apparently needed a refresher course.
If you’ve created an element for your site and you’re struggling to find meaningful content to fill it with that will be helpful to the reader, then you may need to try a different approach. If it’s clearly not working, and people in your organization are struggling to understand it or see the connection, then change it. Don’t be so in love with something on your site that if it really doesn’t work, you’d be unwilling to scrap it.
This almost happened to me.
I was working on the Website for the laboratory that I work for, and we’re reconstructing the whole site in WordPress. There’s a section on the front page, below the main element, where we wanted to put resources for clients who visit our different locations. The lab has facilities in three states, and the idea was to put a list of resources or highlight top information in different sections for each one. The problem is, we were struggling to determine exactly what that information could or should be.
The lab has a wide range of clients that it serves, from industry to private homeowners. A lot of the ideas for the section that we had are applicable for all three locations and not specific to the needs of individual states. In other words, we couldn’t come up with something valuable and exclusive for each location. The marketing manager brought the issue to my attention, because he was struggling as well.
I found myself arguing the point, trying to justify what we were trying to accomplish with that section on the home page. But looking at it, he’s right. It just wasn’t going to work. We didn’t scrap the whole section, but we decided that we’ll have to take a different approach for what information is important to have there.
Have you ever had to throw out an idea that you loved because, while it looks great and works in your head, it just wasn’t practical or applicable? It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially if you don’t take a step back and look at the big picture.