Recent Posts


"Inside/Out...Outside/In" or "Most web-designers should be fired!"

I am perplexed how we teachers fail in lessons we give. My ideas concepts that I want to give are so clear to me. Why can't they-the students-get it?

I have good ideas, good content and it still fails. Part of it is execution. My way of conveying the content is not clear to them. Part of it is where my students are at. They are tired or distracted or even resistant to the ideas.

Even if the teacher's content is sound, the student may still not get it because of the disconnection between the two. A failure to communicate. (How am I doing right now?)

The teacher is on the inside, bringing content out. The student is on the outside, drawing content in.

Inside-->out, Outside-->in.

Website design is a fertile field to see this disconnection at work.

University/educational websites are notorious for this. See

I have yet to find a university website that I can successfully navigate. A place where I can understand their content. I am sure their content is good. I am reasonably sure that they think their content is delivered well. But me-the outside person looking in can rarely find what I need in one pass. It seems that websites are designed from two general fixed points: Inside/Out or Outside/In.

An Inside-Out website was created from the content creator's point of view. It has all the info neatly embedded in a hierarchical structure that seems sound. They probably get people to check and edit it as well. It makes sense to those (the content creators) who are on the inside of it. But for someone on the outside, they can't find what they need quickly.

If you call them on the phone and a person familiar (on the inside) with the site, they can confidentially walk you through to the content you need. Why can they do it but I can't? I am not an idiot. I am just not on the inside.

Have you had this experience? Have you ever been walked-through by a 'human' person regarding navigating a website? What a waste!!! That web-designer should be fired. The purpose for the site is to NOT have a living person hold your hand through the website. Fire the web-designer and hire more people to answer the phones then. Put up a simple static no-hyper link webpage that has your logo, mailing address and phone number. Stop wasting our time.

If I cannot find what I need in a few clicks. You have failed.

It's tragic, because these web-designers are smart, they know their content, they are not trying to go out of their way to make it hard for the rest of us outsiders. Right? (Do they Gandalf?)

They are fixed on the wrong point. They are on the inside looking out. The buttons and navigation make sense to them. They can't even believe people would have a hard time finding what they need.

This is not just a rant, I can't stand complainers without solutions.So I have a solution.

1. Get together you inside people and identify 5 things that people would commonly go to your website for and have these items just a click or two away.

Look at which I think is an Outside/In website.

An outsider-who by the way, are the people you are trying to reach- needs to find what they need quickly.

2. Test your website on 'outsiders'. Get and incorporate their feedback into your plans.

3. Come to a new realization: Your website stinks and you need to change it.

Here's some tissue.