Healthcare.gov, a cautionary tale about web strategy
You know those first few moments when you meet someone and you are sussing out information to figure out who they are and what they do? This is what that ends up looking like for me a lot.
Other person: “So what do you do?”
Erika: “I own a business focusing on web strategy for small businesses. We plan, create and develop websites.”
Other person: “So you are a designer?”
Erika: “Actually, I focus on the strategy and project management of a project. I do have a designer I pull in for design.”
Other person: “Oh, excuse me, I am going to go get a drink.”
Somehow , I am not communicating well to others the importance of website strategy in the design and development of a new website. I can feel them peer through me trying to figure out why they need someone (outside themselves) focusing on strategy. What is so complicated about a website? Sometimes I am able to convince them, sometimes not.
Then the government launched healthcare.gov. Putting politics aside, one thing that everyone can agree on is that the this website was not well planned, not well designed and not well executed. How does this happen? Well, it happens when there isn’t someone at the helm of a project that is focused on nagging everyone and asking the tough questions… the web strategist.
- What is the goal of this page? Is that goal accomplished through the layout and design?
- Will the user be able to easily navigate the page the way it is laid out?
- Who is my target user and what do they bring to the table that is going to influence the way they interact with my site?
- Do we know what the load capacity for this website is and how can we ratchet that up when we need to?
Not every site has the complexity of a site such as healthcare.gov. The interactions and breadth of that site are immense. But here is the funny thing… pause right here and read those questions again (I’ll wait here)… notice anything? Those questions are relevant for a site of any size. A smaller site launch that doesn’t have a person heading the project who has thought long and hard about those items will fail more quietly, but it is certain that they will fail (or at the very least, not succeed).
So, while I hate talking politics, I welcome having this example to explain a bit more about what it is that a strategy firm such as Spring Insight brings to the table.
Time to talk web strategy for your site? Let’s talk.