Let’s paint an ideal picture:
You’re a regular reader of the Web Chique Marketing blog and like a sponge you’ve absorbed all its information to create a wildly innovative and effective website, started a spectacular blog of your own and streamlined your social-network interfaces to communicate seamlessly with all your business outlets.
Do you sit back and wait for the traffic to start rolling in? Or do you remain engaged in your web-space and continue to improve and innovate?
I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out the correct answer but in the case that is does…the answer is to keep working toward your goal. Rome wasn’t built overnight and neither was a successful website, advertising campaign or marketing strategy. These things take time….and immense effort.
Ask anyone who works hard at their craft, perfection is an illusion. The pursuit to achieve perfection is an infinite endeavor in which the goals always change. An artist is always changing her perspective, a writer will spend hours on a single phrase and a mechanic’s car is never running the way he wants. To this extent perfection does not exist. And that’s how it should be.
To never be satisfied with what you create is the ultimate goal. You want your work to be in perpetual progress but never complete. When you see the fruits of your labor don’t just look for the rosy red apple with shades of green and not a wormhole to be found. Look for the apples with bruises and blemishes. Look for the apples that have fallen before their time, rotten and fermented. By seeking to find imperfection you come closer to achieving perfection. But alas don’t be ashamed when you do not.
The phenomenon of human perspective is what makes perfection an impossible feat. As people experience the world, they create thoughts, opinions and emotions that are entirely their own. Yes, two individuals may share similar experiences or perceptions surrounding a particular subject or event, but there is no possible way that they have identical perspectives as they are independent minds with differing backgrounds. What one may view as flawless and beautiful the other may see as defective and hideous.
Keeping perspective in mind when considering your website, blog and social media interfaces should be your top priority. You must remember that you’re not the only person who experiences what you’ve created. In fact, you are the LEAST important person who does. The MOST important perspectives are those of your customers and your competition and at some point you MUST walk in the shoes of these two parties.
the Competitor: Visit competitor websites and navigate through them as if you were a customer. Note the things that aggravate you along your journey as well as those that you find pleasing or helpful. Upon returning to your own site, compare these notes with the experience created by your site. If you find that your space contains similar issues, use them as a jumping point to begin your renovations.
the Customer: It may be difficult to put yourself in the shoes of someone who isn’t familiar with your site. After all, you’re the one who created it. But do your best to dumb yourself down and browse the site as if you have no clue what you’re doing. Do all your links sync correctly? Are there any dead-end pages? Does the information on the page flow with the user’s glance? Are your images clear, prominent and relevant? Does your text stand out from the background?
Think of everything you have ever heard or learned about web-design and ask yourself an onslaught of questions. If you find that errors are present, you know where your attention is needed. If not, perhaps you missed something because it’s unlikely to be flawless.
If by chance you are still having difficulty finding any issues, a second or third party perspective may be necessary. And remember, depending on the product or serviced you are selling or providing, your customer and competitor is likely to change.
So as a web-designer, don’t ask one of your graphic artist or copywriter buddies to look over your site. These aren’t exactly average internet users. Instead, ask a parent or a younger sibling to browse your space and give their honest opinions. Better yet, if you have a grandparent who is familiar with the internet see what they think.
In the end, the best way to optimize your internet presence is to make yourself accessible. Sure, complex web-design can be cool and really draw a crowd. But keep in mind who you’re after and what their needs are in regards to your business.
And if you absorb just one thing from this week’s post it should be this:
ALWAYS consider others before considering yourself. By nature, you will always know what you think but you have to make an effort to understand the masses. Keep your head on a swivel and your eyes on the prize because perspective is everything and perfection isn’t real.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this article please feel free to contact Web Chique Marketing directly or leave a comment on our forum for open discussion.