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Musings from Mike Atkinson on Internet strategy, usability, and more...

Got Humanity?

Just met with a new customer yesterday, through my association with InfoTap. This organization provides subsidized, affordable housing for low-income families and the elderly. The InfoTap Director did a competitive study of other similar organization’s sites and found something fascinating.

Every organization had very detailed information about each construction project (they either build new or renovate existing buildings). But no organization had anything on the net results of those projects: Making other peoples’ lives better!

This will seem a bit simplistic and naive, but, generally, people involved in these organizations along with the lenders and social service orgs do this to help people. Right? That’s why most people are in non-profs – they’re motivated by mission.

So why do so many of these organizations (now I’m referring to more than the low-income housing field) forget to reflect this on their websites?

Rarely do you build loyalty by appealing to someone’s mind through the regurgitation of facts – it’s usually accomplished by the capturing of their heart. And what better way to do that than to show how people’s lives changed as a result of what you do?

In the Marketing World, they call this selling the sizzle, not the steak (in other words, the benefits, not the features).

This applies to all organizations, non-prof or not. I’m working on a new site for an Information Technology consultant. In my competitive study, I found so many sites with fancy, pretty widgets and gadgets, accompanied by long words and jargon. Features.

But even that tech/geek-heavy industry is all about helping people. Benefits.

So I spent a lot of time finding appropriate photos to use on the site that show people helping people. And the site has a strong appeal, I believe

So…are you reflecting some humanity on your site? Are you focusing on benefits, end results, and how people are helped?

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