*climbs up on soapbox
I’ve been seeing this on a lot of websites lately:
THAT is, of course, an administrative control panel widget for a website built on WordPress. In some instances, this handy tool can be really convenient for the blogger-on-the-go, who just wants to log in and post something to their site quickly. Fine, I don’t love it but I don’t think it’s really hurting the four subscribers to a personal blog about Kim’s passion for goat cheese. Unfortunately, this particular admin widget is located on the home page of a business, who shall remain anonymous because, yikes.
You may not think this is a big deal. You may not understand why seeing professional websites with an admin control widget embedded in the footer makes my skin crawl with the fire of a thousand angry ghost spiders. You may think I am too uptight to live, and that I should remove the giant stick from up my… you know.
Let me enlighten you.
In great web design, every single element you put on your page should be designed with the user experience of your customer in mind.
Write that down if you have to. I’ll wait.
That is the most basic, fundamental rule of web design. The funky graphics, snappy copy and super awesome flash animations you put on your corporate website mean absolutely nothing if your potential customer gets frustrated with how your site is put together. When potential customers get frustrated, they leave. And then they go buy the product they were looking for from your competitor.
That widget is of no use to your customer, as I assume you don’t hand control of your website to all the folks who visit your site. When you have a website with an admin control hanging out in plain view, you are not thinking with your customer in mind. You are thinking, “I would rather have this handy button on my website, than fill that space with information that might be useful to the people I am asking to shell out for my products. I would rather have this widget here, so I don’t have to lick the Doritos from my fingers and actually bookmark my administrative logon.” Okay, you may not be thinking that. But you can’t blame me if I interpret it as such, right?
One of the elements on this website just doesn’t belong. I’ll give you three guesses as to which one.
/end soapbox rant