Navel-gazing websites will get you nowhere

What happens when organisations are too inward-looking? It soon becomes obvious to your clients that they are not your most important consideration. If this happens on your website, don’t expect them to stay long.


There’s been a lot of talk recently about the two videos below. Both highlight what happens when organisations don’t focus on their clients.

Your content creates an impression

Inward-looking organisations can’t hide this attitude on their websites. An obvious symptom is content focused on the organisation’s needs rather than meeting users’ needs. Another is content written in ‘bureaucratese’ or legalese. Or sites choking with hundreds of PDF documents “because legislation requires us to publish this”.

Impressions can come at a cost

Do you write for your manager instead of your users? Do you stick to the letter of the law rather than think about why the law was created? Do you allow content owners to publish what they like? If you do, your visitors might struggle find what they need or understand what you’re trying to say. You might be forcing them to give up or go elsewhere.

If you work on a government site where you have no competitors, you’ll drive users to your call centre or email, or risk non-compliance. If you work on a corporate site, you’ll drive people to your competitors. And as the second video shows, if you work for a non-profit, don’t expect people to hand over donations when your website has treated them poorly.

Navel-gazing on your website will get you nowhere. Watch and learn.

Watch the videos

Advertiser vs consumer Fundraiser vs donor