March 10, 2006
Seth Godin showed this slide during a recent presentation at Google:
Users don't care about YOU.
What's the biggest web design mistake of 2004?
1. Believing people care about you and your web site.
Why isn't anyone reading our blog?
1. You're not a good-looking female who likes posting naked pictures of herself.
2. There's nothing in it for them.
This is not to say that users don't care:
The main point: users don't care about you as much as they care about themselves.
Users just aren't that into you. It's not personal. It's business. Unless what you're writing …
- solves their problem
- provides useful information
- entertains them
- makes them feel like they rule
… it's irrational to expect users to care about it.
Every time you create something – whether it's a website, a client app, a blog post, a powerpoint presentation, or an email – ask yourself, "so what?" If you can't answer that question convincingly, reformulate and try again.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
Talk about hitting the nail right on the head. Pretty much every feed that I aggregate is from either from someone that seems to have a lot of insights into [software] engineering/algorithms/etc (which is useful to me at work and personal project) or a site that has "deals" (useful to me because it saves money) or news items (useful to me because it lets me know what's happening my industry and the world around me). I will tend to not read blogs where people are just talking about their daily life and what they ate (even if my own blog would tend toward that at the odd times I actually upate).
So..basically.. "me too"
Put another way. You should care about the users and their needs, after all isn't that why we do what we do, especially if you want to be noticed?
Joe, I would state it a little differently-- make sure at least some of the stuff you're doing has *utility*, in the broader sense.
I will tend to not read blogs where people are just talking about their daily life and what they ate
This only works for me if they're extremely entertaining. It's the hardest kind of writing to do, in my opinion, unless you're Dave Berry. Here's one that works:
I highly recommend all the "classic stories" linked in the upper left.
"ask yourself, "so what?" If you can't answer that question convincingly, reformulate and try again."
Or, realize that the post is just for you and no one else. Accept it and move on. ;-)
Or, realize that the post is just for you and no one else
It still has to pass the internal "so what?" filter.
"Users don't care about you"
[monocle pops out]
That's my third monocle this week. I simply must stop being so horrified.
Hey, how come "good-looking female who likes posting naked pictures of herself" does not have a link? ;-)
I hope it's ok to comment on comments. Damien, your [monocle] comment had me in stitches!