Internet Psychology fromGraham Jones
Welcome to another weekly digest of material from mywebsitegrahamjones.co.uk .Enjoy.
You must tell your friends their website is rubbish
What do you say when your partner asks “does my bum look big inthis”? Do you think, well, actually, yes, it does make your butt look enormous and then say “That’s the perfect colour for you darling.”Or do you risk tears and tantrums by saying, “Sorry dear, but itmakes you look twice as fat as you really are – and you are alreadyseveral pounds heavier than you ought to be.” Whoops….!When we are asked questions we take a view as to whether ornot we should give an honest answer. Sometimes, we reckon anhonest answer is not the best thing, so we give a polite, non-committal answer. The problem, according tonew research fromthe University of Toulousein France, is that being polite actuallyleads to even more misunderstandings. And the situation is worsethan we think it is. We tend to give polite answers when the stakesare high, when we are likely to have some kind of problem if wetell the truth. However, the research shows that when the stakesare highest, the person asking the question is even more likely tobe confused by any answer. In other words, when we are askedpotentially problematic questions our answers make it even morelikely that we actually compound the problem.Of course, you may not often be asked the perennial “bigbum” question. More often you’ll be asked by friends and work colleagues to comment on their newwebsite, their blog or the waythey have redesigned theirFacebook page. And what do you say?“Oh I love the colours”, or “I think the template you have chosen isperfect for you” or perhaps “It’s fantastic, well done”. But all thetime you are thinking that the navigation is pants, that the layoutis confusing and that the headlines are just boring, boring, boring.But do you tell your friend that the website they have slaved overfor weeks on end is terrible? Do you heck. You simply politelyanswer at a tangent to the real question. That then confuses yourfriend and they have no idea as to what you are talking about,potentially making them producean even worsewebsite.So, what can you do about it? The answer issimple:tell the truth. If you think the website is dreadful, say so. If you think the navigationis about as clear as mud, say so. To do anything else would actuallybe more negative for your friend because you would be allowingthem to continue to produce a dreary, poor website. You may haveheard the saying that you “have to be cruel to be kind”. And whenyou are saying negative things it does sound to YOU as though youare being cruel. But as this research shows us, you are not beingcruel – indeed the clarity of your message makes the recipientgrateful, not feel as though they are being treated unkindly in anyway.If yourfriends ask you to comment on their website – tell them thetruth. It will not hurt – it will help.
•Expert Advice: How to Start a Website Redesign(hubspot.com)•5 Simple Tips for Better Business Websites(mashable.com)
Are you as popular as Katie Priceonline?
The former topless model, turned pop star, turned reality TV star,turned business woman, turned novelistKatie Price(aka Jordan)is nowabout to become a lectureratOxford University. Well, OK
it is only a one-off lecture, but nonetheless she is going to speak at theOxford Union– a rare opportunity she shares withWinston