But It’s Web 2.0

Someone else has been sold a bill of goods, getting the site that its developers/vendors wanted to create rather than what its users needed:

Executives at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia took great pains earlier this year to make certain the company’s redesigned Web site looked flawless before rolling it out to the public.

After all, this is a media company whose magazines, books, products and programs feature ideas about attractive and tasteful lifestyles. Why not a beautiful Web site?

“That was a big mistake,” Wenda Harris Millard, the company’s president of media, said this week during a panel discussion at Advertising Week. “We put beauty before utility.”

She said the front page, with its video player and jazzy graphics, included only about five links to actual content, “so the things people were looking for couldn’t be found.”

The mistake, she said, was in failing to understand that “when the reader or viewer or listener becomes the user, what she’s looking for is much different — at least initially.”

Beware any vendor that wants to build you something without understanding your users or audience.  Like as not, its rock star developers/designers have some things they want to try out that probably won’t benefit you but will look really nice on their resumes.

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