Cooper: Your Website Usability Reflects Your Company Culture

From Cooper:

Websites let your customers access your products and services, but as a side effect, they also access your corporate values. If your website is clumsy or slick, easy or confusing, it tells them a story.

  • If a company has a difficult or confusing website, it can mean that they have a confusing organizational structure.
  • If a company has hard to use software, it can indicate that there are several politically charged constituencies within the company and each is advocating conflicting requirements.
  • If a client's website is unfocused, full of unnecessary features, and it forces users to enter superfluous information, it can mean that they are unclear on who their users are and have a corporate structure incapable of serving those users well.

Software has become like body language in the way it reveals your inner personality to a patient observer. Your body language always tells the truth, even when you are trying to hide an ugly secret, and it will give you away every time. You simply can't create likable software if you are a dysfunctional company.

If you want to improve the quality of your website, app, or software, you need to also improve the quality of your organization. … You need to eliminate the energy drains, systemic distortions, and toxic people that force others to act like corporate drones instead of like entrepreneurs with a vested interest in success.