This weekend I received a funny and then disturbing email from a friend/colleague of mine. Here's what it said:
Some how my mother managed to upload an entire folder with about 10 files in it to her Google Drive.
Then she didn't know how to get to her Google Drive.
She has no idea how the files got there and I had to show her how to open them, edit them, and email them as an attachment.
This is the person that has to access the websites you create.
Never assume anything about the end user.
This Can't Be Real
That's a scary thought. Are my websites really being utilized by people who don't know the first thing about the internet? Are there even people like that still? I mean, my grandmother's on Facebook! I had my suspicions. Those suspicions were put to rest as I met today with one of my clients. She wanted to learn how to update her site, and I am always happy to teach. I immediately knew I was in for a rough time when she said, "Woah, woah; do that again. I didn't see how you opened that." It was the browser.
Hey, Me Too
I honestly had a great time with the client. She's very smart, and she's a quick study. She'll do just fine updating the site. She simply hadn't learned it yet. As we sat around afterwards talking, our conversation went to social media. I mentioned that I thought Pinterest would be great for her. She said, "Oh, no. I don't like Pinterest. I love Houzz, though." I had never heard of Houzz and I told her so. She was shocked! "I can't believe there's something on the internet I can tell you about!"
Well, there's plenty that I don't know. Houzz was one of them. I had never heard of Houzz because I have never wanted to do interior design. But, that's kind of the point.
So Educate Already
I know that I can become very wrapped up in what I'm doing, what interests me, what I like. It can be jarring at times to remember that not everyone likes what I like or has an interest in what I like or places priority in what I do. Steel workers should not assume that I have any clue about the steel industry. My surgeon should not assume I know anything about the procedure. But once I become their clients, they shouldn't leave me in the dark.
My surgeon should educate me on the procedure. My steel metal worker should educate me on ... whatever it is that steel metal works do. In the same way, we should all educate our clients on our industry, on our business and on ourselves. A website is a great place to do that. We've got to remember (me especially) that it needs to be very easy to find and clear to follow. We should never assume that our clients know what they need to know or even how to find out what they need to know.