You’re not going to believe this, but the holiday season has arrived! Yes, it’s true: bells are jingling, lights are aglow, and the air carries a permanent whiff of snow and cookies. I’m sure you’re feeling festive, perhaps wearing an excessive amount of red or spinning a dreidel. You probably have a list of loved ones that you’re buying gifts for. I was just curious…did you include me? Me. Your website. I was wondering if I could get in on this.
Don’t freak out if you haven’t gotten me anything yet. It’s OK! I put together a list for you. It’s just some ideas I had as I was reminiscing about all of the moments we’ve shared together and what the new year might bring. No, this isn’t some weird Black Mirror twist. I simply want to help you help me help you.
Your Site’s Holiday Wish #1 – A Dependable Platform
I’ve been doing a lot of internal searching lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not as grounded as I’d like to be. Sure, I’d be grateful for a copy of Eat, Pray, Love but what I’d really like is a new platform to work with.
Remember that one time when we had a user trying to find content on a specific topic, but he couldn’t because we had buried it in a crevice of irrelevance and he was cursing and I was helpless and you cried a little? Or the time when I was hoping for a simple update but it was impossible to get the process going and you contemplated burning the whole place to the ground? OR that time when you wanted to design a page that didn’t fit in the template, and you had to call in three different IT guys, your cousin studying computer science, and a priest?
As your website, I do the best that I can but I could be better if I was functioning on a platform like WordPress. No, it’s not just because all of the cool sites are doing it (although it is the most popular CMS out there and 99% SEO friendly). I just want to be prepared for every user that stops by for a visit, and that includes you!
An open-source platform like WordPress provides flexibility for all of us. It grants everyone at our company the autonomy to throw in any content you need me to have, while allowing governance that can determine if that content is actually something you want me to display. That’s called balance. Which is a great thing to have when you’re trying to manage content and create a positive, consistent UX for your consumers.
WordPress is also easy to use, maintain, and update. As your website, I could use that help to make my interactions with users significantly less stressful. It would be so nice to be called user-friendly because I feel I’m really friendly. I want that to be evident in what I have to offer.
Holiday Wish #2 – A Bodyguard
I’m only afraid of three things; pop up ads, the Reddit Hug of Death, and hackers. I have the power to block the ads, and WordPress can be my can of spinach, but hackers still have me anxious. I’m always wondering if there is a guy in a New Jersey basement planning to bust me open and steal my data.
We both value the trust our consumers place in us when they share sensitive data in exchange for our services. Keeping that information safe is imperative. But I can’t just say ‘Swiper, no swiping’ and keep a hacker at bay. I need to be savvy.
For my second holiday gift, I would like a strong analysis that exposes any vulnerabilities I may have. My therapist says this is key to the healing process and will allow me to be more confident in the face of future dangers. Once we know which of my areas need the most protection, we can integrate security solutions right into my design.
We could also add another layer of resistance by monitoring my applications regularly and establishing back-up plans should there be a breach. When Kevin McCallister from Home Alone courageously defended his home from thieves, he didn’t just lay traps at the entrances. He used every tool that he had to ensure the entire house was protected to the max. That’s inspirational. That’s the mindset I’d like to see in action next year.
Holiday Wish #3 – Organization
There are those who say ‘not all those who wander are lost’ and then there are those who say ‘#$&% this piece of $@#^ stupid website’ as they throw their computer across the room. I know this because I have been the cause of such rage. Gee golly, I’d love for that to change.
Smart information architecture is the perfect companion gift to my aforementioned new site platform. Once your content is easier to manage and publish, don’t you want it to end up in the best location so it can be found? I do because I just can’t handle the users screaming anymore.
Every journey deserves to be productive and pleasant. I want to be the ideal guide for any user, whether they’re browsing or searching for something specific. I want to anticipate the user’s needs and provide a logical path that leads them to their desired location. I want to solve their problem before they even know how to articulate it. I want the illusion of omnipresence!
Thoughtful research can determine the habits of the average visiter and inform the ideal utilization of my structure. The information architecture can then play to my strengths which would do wonders for my self-esteem, as well as for your mental health. Everything would have a proper home. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
Holiday Wish #4 – Peace on Earth
Above all, I wish for happiness and joy for all people.
Just kidding. I only want that for the users who visit me. Everyone else can fa la la la la outta here.
For anyone who comes searching for your services, I wish for them a UX that is productive and enjoyable. A strong CMS, expert security, intelligent information architecture, and a unique design can all come together to do some good for those who need it. I want you and your clients to know you can count on me just as surely as you can count on your opinionated uncle to ruin Thanksgiving.
In order to make the UX a glorious time for all of us, I need to be ready for any scenario. The odds of a user first encountering me on their mobile device rather than a desktop computer are ever in our favor. My design needs to be mobile-friendly, maintaining my clear, useful, super good looking self for the small screen. Siri and Alexa and I can be a squad. Mobile capabilities are crucial to keeping my head above water and can’t be overlooked.
We also need to ensure that anyone can access the content and services we offer. I want to be able to provide for all users, be it through properly spelled captions on video content or accurate and perhaps sassy descriptions of images. Design is in the details. Granted it’s soon to be the law, as new accessibility standards will go into effect come January but most importantly, it’s the right thing to do. If we can’t do the right thing during the holiday season, then what kind of monsters are we?
Providing a UX that is both engaging and helpful is what I’m really here for. I’m not a placeholder on the internet. I’m a (potentially) sharp, intelligent, and fantastic looking tool at your disposal. Nothing makes me happier than providing a positive interaction between you and your client before you even meet. It gives my life meaning. Knowing my own purpose is the most precious gift of all. (cue snow and music, sponsored by Hallmark)
There you have it! These are the gifts I’ve had my eye on for some time. Remember, it’s not about me, it’s about you and my desire to make your life merry and bright. Happy holidays, friends!