How to effectively communicate what you need

How to effectively communicate what you need
How to effectively communicate what you need
  • Cody Hobbs
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Effective communication can be hard, especially if you’re having trouble articulating precisely what it is you need, in an area that is outside of your field of expertise.  Technology, like many specialized fields, has its own jargon, as well as its own sets of rules that may not be immediately intuitive.  So when you start planing for that redesign, the pressure can feel immense.  Because of this, many organizations feel like they need to know exactly what they want before they start working with a tech provider, but this can lead to a deep pitfall.

Asking for the wrong things: Knowledge is power.  So it makes since to do your research to find out what the latest technology is, and to ask for that to be implemented in your websites design.  And on the face of it, there’s nothing wrong with this.  Staying current is now, and has always been important, even before the internet age.  But no every tool is the right fit for every organization.  You wouldn’t try to hammer in a nail with a screwdriver, after all.  But when doing research, many of the resources you will come across that outlines what features you should be asking for are also trying to sell those things.  The more appealing they make them sound, the more likely they’ll be to make a sell on that item.  And this can lead to you asking for things you just don’t need.  So what should you do?

Reach out to your members: Do a little digging into their experience with your site, and find out what they would like to see improved on.  Also, ask general questions about how they already use your site; this will be a powerful tool later on in the planning phase.

Focus on the experience, not the specifics: When you are ready to start planning out your redesign with a tech provider, focus on letting them know the experience you want your members to have.  If you’ve thoroughly vetted them, they will be able to plan with you together on the exact, specific tools you need.  This requires a lot of trust, so make sure you feel confident in the team you chose to handle your redesign.

Learning to effectively communicate what experience you want your members to have can go a long way to giving you a positive CMS experience.  Next week, we’re going to go over cohesive design, and how trying to cram too many disparate pieces together can lead to a headache for everyone involved.