Monday, March 25, 2013

User Friendly My Eye!

I have a new pet peeve, no pun intended, that's been slowly developing over the last few years. Somewhere along the lines while learning my journalism craft I recall the words when it comes to radio listeners "Do the Math for them." Granted the term was in reference to numbers, but taking journalistic license I believe it also applies to using the Internet.

I can't tell you how many times I've been told during a live talkshow interview or in doing an interview for a news story, people can go to our website for more information. It's kind of a blanket statement, which shouldn't be used if it's not true.

You see when I'm doing a story I "Do the Math" and do go to the website to make sure what I'm being told exists at a website is there and is user-friendly. If I have to spend ten minutes perusing a website and find no link, banner or search that will get me to where that information is I'm not going to drive people to that website.

Two recent examples. Go to our website to take the survey. Not on the home page, No banner with a link. But the survey was buried in a previous press release that wasn't recent at all. In the other example I was told people can go to our website to find out more about information meetings. I did spend 10 minutes on that website searching for the information and found references to past information sessions, but nothing on upcoming information meetings.

It wouldn't be fair to point out these shortcomings without turning the criticism inward. So if I supply the information in a news story I wrote I'm going to make sure if I drive people to our website for more information the link works, the podcast works or the banner works.

Think of it as someone stopping to ask you directions. You would try to give them the right directions if possible. Imagine the look you'd get if you told them to use Map Quest instead.


Piter Turek said...


so funny picture with a dog :)

Andrew Zoldan said...

Cute puppy. I have such dog but adolt. Wonderful breed.