As a WAHM, one of the only things I miss from the corporate world is collaboration to make improvements. When a site is new and shiny, you put a lot of work into the user experience. But after a year (or six!) the site can grow stale and you need to look at your site once again like you did when you first created it. The problem is that you need fresh eyes. I have written a number of times about the benefits of my Mastermind Group, and this is something you could do with a group like that, a focus group of customers, or even by enlisting the help of a couple of friends or family members.
Yesterday Eric and Todd reviewed one of my oldest sites for me, Sunshine Rewards. I know they spared my feelings a little bit here and there, but they really gave me a lot of honest feedback that I needed. The site is almost 7 years old and is kind of like an old house in need of fixing up. Some of the changes will require some real time and money investment. Others are quick and free.
I started with a few of the basic changes. One example was on my surveys page. Eric said there was too much text and it turned him off. He suggested a table rather than the rows of text. How hard could that change be? I spent about half an hour last night creating a table and adding some hyperlinks to images. Would anyone even notice or care?
First thing this morning I found a thread in my forum of people talking about how much they like the new survey page. I was amazed! It was a change that I would never have thought to make and didn’t take me long. And yet it made the user experience better.
I have a lot of changes to make on my site over the coming weeks thanks to their feedback. I’ve known that the site needed a spruce up, but I was too close to it to see what needed to be done. A fresh perspective was what I needed. Do you ask others to review your sites for you? Do you update them periodically to make sure that your user experience is as good as it can be?