September 2016 Newsletter
**** The 4specs Perspective
Last month's newsletter focused on your web design for search engine visitors and how to best serve them. This month I am going to focus on web design for specifiers.
One thing I did not say in last month's newsletter was the difference between a search engine visitor and a user from 4specs or other construction-specific directory.
A specifier recently suggested I add a section for a current advertiser, giving me the product name. I went to the manufacturer's website and could not find any logical way to click to the product information using product categories. I had to search for the product name using their internal search feature to get to the specific product page. I then added the section for that manufacturer. If I did not have the specific product name, I would not have found the product info.
One of my premises is that web designers do not understand how to design a website to support specifiers and other construction-product knowledgable users. They envision EVERY user as coming from Google or a search engine and want to direct them to the exact page. The webdesigner does not understand how specifiers group and classify products in a usable way using MasterFormat.
I estimate that the 800 full time specifiers write about half of all new construction specifications. Your website MUST provide them with a snapshot of all the major product catagories you manufacture. Your website MUST provide an easy link path to get to the specific product they need for this project. Next week they will be working on another project and may well select another of your products to be included in that specification.
This was the premise of the WebFormat proposal I wrote in 2000 and updated in 2009. Make it easy to find and use all of your products in the 20-40 specs the full time specifier will write this year. Here are other examples:
I add that it was not easy to make useful pdfs of these pages. I had to try several different programs to generate a suitable pdf. Try making pdfs of your pages using various programs. Try printing using the Chrome browser and Foxit Reader PDF Printer as well as Adobe and Bluebeam (frequently used by architects to save product data - you can download a free trial).
Feedback, comments and suggestions always appreciated.
Publisher - 4specs