Is Your Website SNOWED? (Stakeholders’ Needs Overwhelm Web Experience Design)

Having too many stakeholders on your website results in forcing your users to trudge through a confusing experience, where each laborious step results in frustration then abandonment. Like poor Jack N on the left, you have frozen your own users, your website is SNOWED.

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen Result in Mush
I’m sure you’ve seen it, websites where there’s such a jumbled mess of content on a webpage, you know it’s a battle from internal stakeholders. Typically, you see this jumble of information on large corporate websites, in particular, large tech companies with HW and SW products. (I know this as I used to do it)

Being SNOWED is far worse than Avinash’s acronym of HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion). At least with a HiPPO there will be at least some direction where the website is headed.

What’s worse is having too many masters too serve, resulting in serving none. I created this little acronym which I encourage you to share with your stakeholders, hopefully your website won’t be SNOWED in either.

[Is your website SNOWED? Stakeholders’ Needs Overwhelm Web Experience Design]

Case Study: American Airlines Website Afflicted by 200 Stakeholders
Take for example the American Airlines website, which was so frustrating to users that designer Dustin Curtis decided to mock up an improvement and write this open letter. One of the designers from AA responded, saying there were over 200 stakeholders involved in the final output of the product, resulting in the jumbled mess of a corporate webpage. Reminds me of this self-created video from Microsoft showing what would happen if they designed the iPod package.

Solution: Have an Empowered Web Strategist
Yes, we know that putting the needs of your users is key to a successful webpage, but it should also be coupled with the needs of the business. This is where the Web Strategist comes into play, who balances this with technology to deliver the right experience. This diagram of the three spheres of web strategy should come in handy, a great diagram to print out and put on the desk.