Anyone who has watched Chef Gordon Ramsey walk into a struggling restaurant will see that one of his standard ‘tricks of trade’ is to simplify the menu. He outlines the reasons very quickly. The customer doesn’t want to know how many things you can cook they want to know what is your recommendation today.
The problem with a confusing menu is that it is more about our head rather than than the consumers. We have a hundred ideas for our business but the customer is trying to decide between three options. Lets help keep the customer’s job easy so that can buy quickly. They have a need and anything we put in the way is a barrier to their satisfaction.
The menu system of any website is pivotal to its success. Often we throw more thinking at colours and graphics which may seem right to the heart but often it stuffs up the head. Visit any website for the first time and you will be asking yourself a number of questions in the first 300 micro-seconds after arrival.
What is this website for?
What can I do here?
How do I find what I want?
This is where two uncreative words come in to play. As part of the web strategy process we want to build in logic and consistency. We build this method around your business or organisations services and take the time to consolidate the options down to the lowest number. The consumer is often in a hurry to get where they are going so the intention of a good menu system to to remove traffic lights and intersections. This means more highways and less roundabouts on the way to the ‘shop’.
Every now and then an example appears that shows brilliance in dealing with a challenge in public. Sometimes we learn from the mistakes and sometimes its clear that this example is one to follow.
Recently when Bill Hybels had to confront a tremor in the organisaton of his church’s annual leadership summit the timing and focus of the issue were both public and awkward. The Global Leadership Summit that impacts leaders in over 75 countries annually is run from the Chicago based Willowcreek church. Speakers often come from varying points of the compass and include both business and church leaders. Their contributions range from those who have overcome personal adversity to community and government leaders.
For the 2011 event one of the key speakers was Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. As the event drew near a petition was formed by some individuals concerned that the CEO of Starbucks shouldn’t speak at a church that they believed was anti-gay. Despite discussions with Starbucks to endeavour to work through the issue the perceived impact and threats from the group involved in the petition to boycott Starbucks meant that Schultz had to withdraw. For anyone that has had the privilege of reading his new book ‘Onward’ you will appreciate the disappointment that must have been felt by the GLS Willowcreek leadership. Yet the calibre of the way they dealt with the issue is found in this video.
Be inspired, go to a GLS, buy a Starbucks coffee and read “Onward”