April 2007 Newsletter
**** The 4specs Perspective
The best way to learn how a specifier uses your website and online information is to ask. Find a local specifier or one where you travel - preferably one that works on specs full time. If you need some help I can point you to potential specifiers to work with.
Ask them if you can come in after hours and work with them as they update one of your a specification sections. Offer them a $250 gift Visa card and a takeout dinner for their time. Bring your web designer and be ready to ask questions and to learn. I doubt your web designer has ever been in a major architect's office and may not understand the design and specification process and how information is used.
Have them use your website and your competitors' sites to update their spec. Look for problem areas and note what they expect to find. Note the resources they use and the problems or successes in getting the spec revised and the best products selected.
This is a quote from ClickZ, link to full article just below:
My time (all searchers' time, in fact) is extremely valuable. If I'm using Google or Yahoo to find information on a specific topic, it's extremely irritating to view information in a Google and Yahoo SERP, then be delivered to a subscription form. If you're expecting to see the keywords and snippet on the destination page, do you want to view a snippet, click a link, and get a form? I don't.
**** 4specs Related Recommended Links
A ClickZ article about the cost of doing web pages. I suspect the costs are higher than for construction product sites that do not have or need the complexity of some consumer sites.
Jakob Nielsen's 10 High-Profit Redesign Priorities - As a manufacturer I am not sure that an email newsletter is appropriate for architects and specifiers. The rest of the thoughts are on target.
Jakob Nielsen - Fix the Basic First
ClickZ on User Centered Design
Publisher - 4specs