Posted by: communicationcloud | September 26, 2009

Why software companies’ websites are NOT doomed after all

I wrote recently about how the internal structure of an organisation can impact badly on the experience of users trying to find information on the site. I’m pleased to say that I’ve since seen an example of a site that is succesful at overcoming these problems.

At the Technical Communication UK conference, Peter Anghelides of IBM told us about IBM’s website. It had problems similar to those I described in my post, and IBM took it in hand by beginning a major rethink of what the website was really for, and what success meant on their website: success at finding information does not look the same as success at making a purchase, though both are essential. This was addressed by getting people together to think about the site as a whole, rather than as separate parts.

Peter described the approach as “Total Information Experience”, which is highly resonant of the “Total Customer Experience” expounded by business books such as Clued In and associated with such business success stories as Disney and Starbucks.

So it turns out software companies’ websites are not doomed after all. Good news! It’s still not going to be easy to fix these website problems, though: it sounds as though it took a lot of work to get the IBM site working how they wanted…

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