This is a question Gerry McGovern asks in today's article on Giraffe Forum. It's something we all need to ask ourselves, no matter what size of business we operate. McGovern asks if the feedback you're getting for your website truly reflects the needs of the majority of your customers. He goes on to ask if the customers who give feedback reflect "the top tasks of the average customer or do they have exceptional tasks and demands? Because," he says, "if their tasks and demands are exceptional then changing your website to meet them may be the worst thing you could do." He notes that "many commercial websites attempt to do and be everything for everybody. The intentions are good but the results are not." These are powerful words. How are we swayed? By whom? Are these ideas we should consider? Absolutely. Everything should be considered, but we need to look at our primary market, and make sure that any additions, deletions, or changes are done wisely, given that most of us have limited time and money. What is your focus? What are your goals? Do the very best to present them in the most professional manner possible. Being a nice guy in terms of response to ideas may not be best for the business. I've seen websites crumble because the owners didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, and they were adopting this idea and that idea (which may have been good, but just not at this time or on this site) and ended up with complexity and confusion for visitors. Analyze. Organize. Avoid confusing your visitors. Stick to your goals and focus on them. As McGovern says, "Your website can be like a mirage, promising an endless space full of limitless possibilities. But if you keep filling it up you will turn it into a desert of complexity where everything seems to be in reach but nothing really is." Consider subscribing to the Giraffe Forum. It'll come to you in email form. I've learned more from Gerry McGovern than from any other Web expert. And there are many others who are excellent. He simply tops my list.
Archives for November 2008
My illustrious, multi-talented daughter-in-law just passed the Washington State bar, and was sworn in on November 6, 2008. It was an arduous journey, but well worth it, as people with disabilities in Washington State will benefit. She passed the bar in Arizona in 1982. She was at the Attorney General's office for about two-and-a-half years, and was the Maricopa County Volunteer Lawyers Program Director for about three years. While there, she initiated several programs with the help of her staff. Her major area of concentration after the volunteer lawyers program, was workers' compensation law, which involves disability and rehabilitation, etc. She spent several years representing injured employees and several years representing employers/insurance carriers. Then, in April, 2002, Kerrie left the practice to be the president and director of the Meyerson Foundation. Her husband (and my son), Ron Simpson, took over the directorship in October, 2006, but she's remained active as president. She took the bar in Washington so that she can help families with guardianship applications and consult with the foundation's various projects in a legal capacity. Kerrie has many talents. She is a devoted pet lover, and she and my son, Ron, currently have two golden retrievers, a St. Bernard, and a beautiful cat, Sneakers. They recently lost Ms. Higgins, a cat, and Shimmy, a cocker spaniel. The all-time combination of dogs is Boz and Micus (Amicus), which Ron and Kerrie owned when they met over 10 years ago. An unbeatable team, and remembered with fondness and chuckles. Kerrie spins some of her own yarn, sometimes using the combed-out fur from her dogs, and knits hats, gloves, scarves, ponchos, booties (she even created some Pekingese booties for two cute dogs in Peoria), socks, and more. She is also a certified Personal Fitness Coach, and monitors my strength training. In addition, she's an encyclopedia of knowledge on nutrition and health. When Kerrie was six months old, her mother, Nancy Joy Kerr, developed polio, and was wheelchair bound for the remainder of her life. Nancy also had diabetes, and in her last years, a stroke. Her recovery was due in large part to Kerrie's devotion to her. Kerrie's stepfather, Lee Meyerson, had severe physical disabilities as well. Both parents were professors of psychology at ASU, and very committed to helping people in the disability community. They left a legacy of inspired family and students, and founded the David and Minnie Meyerson Foundation for people with disabilities. My interest in supporting the needs of people with disabilities is a direct result of the Kerr-Meyerson influence that Kerrie and my son, Ron Simpson, are currently involved in. The four of them are my heroes.
Here's a photo of nephew and niece Skip & Julie Voetberg and their children, including son-in-law, Will...as they prepared to leave for a year in Ghana where Skip is teaching Bible classes and other things. The rest of the family is doing volunteer work and enjoying getting to know others in the community and surrounding area.
How can I not brag about my family? Yet another niece is following in the family tradition of being an excellent photographer: Soryn Voetberg. Soryn, along with six siblings, parents, and brother-in-law, is spending a year in Ghana. Long way from Chehalis, Washington. Recently the Voetbergs visited Togo, and this is one of her shots. What do you think?