Align The Solution to the Issue

From Metro Transportation Library & Archive

How many times have you been approached by a client with a website issue.  They usually come to you with some suggestions to solve the issue.  Most times the issue is real and warrants some attention, but far too often the solution is not aligned with the issue.

For example, at the college where I work there have been numerous occasions where a service area approached me with the concern that people are not able to find their content very well.  If you work in a large organization, you can relate.  The suggested solution almost always includes raising profile in the website.

In a large organization’s website, the reality is that many service areas may go under-represented. The idea of raising profile of a single page in a large website may not be practical and really address the issue.

In most cases, the solution that I suggested is an awareness campaign of the service area’s URL through e-mail signatures, print materials, etc.  This will provide a longer term success while not impacting the goals of the main website.

When faced with web issues, its important to understand the core of the issue and design a solution to address the core issue.  Failure to do this will only provide temporary fixes, and may cause other issues to crop up in your website.

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  • Angie Tarasoff

    Actually, Mike, I think you nailed this one in the last paragraph.  Before aligning the solution to the issue, ensure that you understand the issue.  Too many times, I have seen solutions developed prematurely – with only a superficial understanding of the problem.  Frequently, the client will understand and communicate symptoms, but may not clearly articulate the underlying problem. 

    Asking questions with the intention of helping the client discover the challenge is critical.