Is your web site any good?
I bet that question made a lot of you cringe and start down a guilt spiral of rationalizations about why your web site isn’t really quite what you wish it was. If you have a bad web site, it’s because your organization is producing a bad web site. And no one who is visiting your site cares why. They don’t care about the bickering between marketing and IT over web site control. They don’t care about the 18-month argument about who gets a link on the homepage, or about the 30 years of history which makes it “impossible” for all the various programs and offices in your organization to cooperate in order to create the integrated web presence that your site visitors long for. They don’t care. But, everyday they are clicking away on your site, frustrated, trying to do business with your organization and trying to get information from your organization. And your organization continues to dither. By rationalizing low quality, you are prioritizing your organization’s bad habits over your customer’s and constituent’s needs.
For a business or an organization with a clearly articulated mission, the intent and purpose of its web site(s) should be obvious–expressed most clearly as a high quality web product. The mission should also be front and center for those producing the organization’s web site(s)- expressed as a coherent set of strategic policies and tactical standards for web site product development. But, we all know this is seldom the case. Web site quality is frequently at the mercy of some set of ill-thought-out, status quo web production processes and a lack of strategic oversight by senior management. All this for what is most likely the first point of contact for individuals interacting with your organization.