The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

27 Things I Noticed About Your Website

Posted by Chris Bonney on Mon, May 24, 2010


Yes, this post is for you. It's about your website. You haven't redesigned it in way too many years and it shows. Here's a quick list of things I found.

1. You're using Flash just to use it.

2. The colors of your site are dated (so is your logo).

3. You don't have a private social network yet.

4. You think popping those little social networking chicklets at the top of your page means you're doing social media.

5. Your site isn't wide enough. Resolutions have expanded, so should your website.

6. Your stock imagery is dated and irrelevant.

7. I can't find the links "About Us" or "Contact Us".

8. I also can't find a link that says "Join". I like your organization. I'd like to join.

9. Your site is a garbled mess on my Blackberry.

10. You're asking me to log in to get access to information that I can find on Google for free.

11. Your navigation buttons are topical (membership, events, etc). I need functional buttons like "Join, Attend, Discuss". Engage me.

12. I have to type in my information to buy something on your site even though I'm logged in.

13. I can't update my own demographic info. Even when I'm logged in.

14. Your pages are full of paragraphs and paragraphs of text. I scan web pages. Most people do.

15. You've included so much jargon on your home page, it feels like I'm looking into a bowl of alphabet soup.

16. Your domain name is a bunch of letters all in a row that are surely the acronym of your organization, but I'll never remember it to save my life again. One visit to your site was enough anyway.

17. If I search on Google for any keywords related to your organization, you don't show up anywhere. Your competitors do, though. Weird.

18. It's not clear when I come to your home page that you know why I'm there or what you want me to do while I'm there.

19. In some areas of the site, even though I'm logged in, I have to log in again. Like on your discussion forums, for example.

20. There is no "home" button anywhere on your site and your logo doesn't link back to your home page either. I'm stuck.

21. You have that video that auto-plays when I get to your home page. I'm not interested.

22. You overhauled half your home page to celebrate your 20-year anniversary of being in existence. I'm not interested.

23. There is no search function on your site.

24. I can't see a way to subscribe by RSS to any of your content. There is some good stuff here in places, things I'm interested in, but I don't see me coming back day after day just to see if you've updated it or not.

25. To join, I have to fill out a hard copy PDF and fax it in with my credit card number.

26. I'm a member, but I really can't tell from anywhere on the site what I get if I log in. Can't you be more like MIT?

27. I know you're having an event sometime this year, but I can't see a mention of it anywhere on your home page. Must not be that big of a deal.

Did you find anything else wrong with this site? Got anything else to add?

(Note from author: This is not an actual analysis of your website, but more a list of things we've seen on association websites over the years. My sincerest apologies to those of you who thought this was an actual analysis of your website. It's a blog post meant to bring to light elements you may want to consider changing on your website in the future.)

Topics: vanguard technology, web 2.0, social media, domain name, website redesign, Google+, Websites

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