Wearing your underpants on the outside?

Not only is that a great headline, it’s also a great metaphor used by Brain Traffic’s Meghan Casey in her article, “4 Web project problems content strategy can solve“.

One of my biggest pet peeves is corporate websites that are designed around the company’s organizational structure, and influenced  by internal politics. Casey calls this “underpants on the outside”.

When I see a website where the products are organized under “small cap verticals” or “solutions, broadcast” I know that company didn’t think of me, or other potential customers, once during the design process. Then it’s up to me to decipher their “code” to find what I want. This inside-out approach is practically an epidemic in larger companies. A smaller company, with fewer products, has an easier time of organizing their content around what their customers want to know.

As Casey points out, this type of non-user-centric approach leads to, “Lost opportunities … sales not made, relationships not built, brand not recognized.”

The article includes three other common problems as well (plus solutions!), and is definitely worth a read:

  • Great ideas, no content
  • The content broke my design
  • We thought you were creating the content
  • Underpants on the outside