Radio’s Digital Version of “Hoarders”

Hoarders, Clean House, et al … there’s a bunch of TV shows about those people who can’t clear the mountains of junk out of their houses.

Many radio brands have an ugly little secret like that.  It’s our websites.

Think about it.  Often, the most popular, best known websites are also the cleanest and most usable.  GoogleYouTubeFacebook … are all super-clean, well-organized, with tons of white space to make it easy to read and get around.  Craigslist.org … classically old-school, but still very usable.

By comparison, it looks like we’ve been working to make our radio websites harder to visually make sense of, and harder to navigate.  It’s as if, like those hoarders on TV, we have some sort of psychological block.  We have to keep stuffing more content and broader content onto our sites, while using lots of fonts and colors that don’t go well together.  Finally, it’s all crammed together so that someone has to spend time hunting for what they came to find in the first place.

If you look at and work with your website all the time, you probably don’t see it like your site visitors do.  So, here’s what the experience of going to many radio websites is like.

Here’s the website for Bear Flag Wines.  Let’s say you want to find out if they have something you like.  Click here to go to their website, which should open in another screen.  Find the option called “Taste Test.”  If you can find it, go through the choices and see what it tells you.  Was that easy and helpful?

Some web designers love this sort of site.  I hate it.  Real people go online to easily find helpful information they’re looking for.  Are you making it easy for listeners to find real information they’re seeking about you?

Your website may not be as … uh, freely creative … as Bear Flag’s site is.  But you can have nice right angles on your content, and it can still be a dizzying jumble of colors, fonts, confusing layouts and unhelpful content.

Time to give up on hoarding.  If you aren’t getting the hits you want … instead of putting up more and different types of stuff, try cutting back and cleaning up, instead.

Chris Miller

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