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What if you're a vole on the central reservation of life?
2011-03-19: A new client called me "I've got a great website, but ... ".
I looked at it. It's not a great website.
"But everyone tells me it is".
No, everyone who likes your website tells you it is. The other 95% are long gone.
The moral? For all sorts of reasons, you can't take what people say to you as evidence that your website is a great website because your sample is wrong .. you're only talking to those people who like your website.
  • A usability test tells you.
  • Traffic stats tell you.
Strangely, it's not one of those where the website looks great but is actually all wrong when you try to use it. In this case, the material is all there, the business is fabulous, it just doesn't feel like the business is fabulous when you get to the website. It's unusual for me to come to this conclusion, but this is mostly a graphic design problem.
Anyway, the moral is: when your customers tell you you're good, allow yourself a little bask, but work hard to accept that it doesn't mean you are good. It just means you matched what they wanted and delivered on your psychological contract. But they might just be weird people and yours might just be a weird website.
Which means, like a vole on the central reservation of a motorway, all the time you think things are great, you might be missing something huge.
(Which can be fine, it depends what you want).

By John Allsopp
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