An observation. I recently attended a Christmas tree lighting ceremony held on the main street of my town. We parked several blocks away due to street closings so I had plenty of opportunity to recognize all the businesses on our way to the tree (a main reason for holding these events downtown). The first business I noticed caught my eye because of the beautiful landscaping and architecture. I looked around and spotted a name, Omni something or another. I thought, what do they do, their office looks nice, but no where on the building or door did it say what they did. For the rest of the evening I looked around while walking the closed streets of the downtown area and noticed several business displaying their names only with no information about what they did. Some had descriptions on their window to inform of their service or purpose, but with the large crowd walking the streets, most of the time you could not see anything but the business name along the roof line of the building.
I began thinking, this reminds me of the first Web site I redesigned where there was information that the targeted audience wanted but could not find because links were unrecognizable.
Brick and Mortar vs. Online:
1) Tree lighting event = Some activity, promotion, RSS, etc. that pulled me to a Web site
2) Saw nice buildings and landscaping that grabbed my attention = saw attractive layout and design
3) Saw businesses with names but had no idea if I could use their service or what they did = saw links but had no idea what content or products they led to
4) Saw the tree lighting ceremony, scanned the streets, and went home = Read the story of the RSS feed, scanned the page, and closed the browser
How many business (web links) do you notice, and have no idea what they do (where they lead to)?
David Jaeger, M.Ed.
Florida Gulf Coast University
Director of Web, Multimedia & Publication Services