With a few exceptions the website has not changed that much in past 10 years. Text + images/illustration + links + shopping cart + data capture. It’s largely a passive experience in a (hyper)active world. A world of getting people to do things and purchase other (occasionally) necessary things. Our storefront office here in Hastings-on-Hudson begs passersby to investigate. On average we get 3-5 people a week poking a head in our office and asking some form of “what do you do in here?” My natural response is – “We help clients with create and execute content-first strategies…” then I watch as their eyes drift to Rushkoff’s robots. After a few seconds they ask — “so…you make websites?”* It’s pure puffery to come back with something like — “No we tell digital stories,” so most often I acquiesce — “Right, websites. We make websites.” Sometimes they ask for a card and other times they back out slowly as if they walked into the middle of a bank robbery. *(For the record – more than 50% of our billable work is strategy only.)
Last week a woman came in, looked at our whiteboard wall covered in product-design brainstorming and said, “Well, this place is fun.” I smiled, realizing that both websites, strategy and ideas were only part of what we do. It reminded me that fun should help shape any experience and not everyone needs to know exactly what you do. Especially if you can make them smile.
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