Want to know a really simple way to improve your website? Ask a stranger for a critique!

I was at an event where we were asked to write our web & email addresses down on a piece of paper and then we shuffled them around the room. Whoever you got, you had to answer two questions: Where is this site the strongest? Where is this site the weakest?

The big key to this is the stranger. Often times, we self edit what we’re going to say to our friends.. Also, our friends know us, know our businesses, and can therefore mentally fill in the “gaps” in our site with the narrative of  us that they already know. Having a stranger (or new acquaintance) who has no real ties to you means you’re going to get a more open and honest interpretation of what they’re seeing.

As is the key with any critique, you need to take all feedback as constructive, and with a grain of salt. Use them for what they’re worth; a tool to help us see past our own blind eye that’s too close to the work to find fault.  The more people you get to look at the site the more you’ll be able to hone in on trends. Maybe one person says that it was difficult to navigate but 5 others said your navigation was great. Because you sampled several people you can average out the responses that you get for a more accurate picture.

Another option would be to try this exercise with your non-photography friends as well. Chances are they might see your site differently than the photographers do! This can be valuable information because 9 times out of 10, we aren’t photographing other photographers. We’re photographing non-photographers, so it is important to survey their opinions as well.

If you want to do a little “housekeeping” on your website but don’t know where to start, I challenge you to get 10 website critiques this month so you can see what other people are “seeing” and hopefully get some validation on the good stuff and some ideas on how to become even more awesome than you already are.

Lisa Robinson, Lovesome Photography

Lisa is a D.C. area based wedding & boudoir photographer. Follow her on Twitter & check out her website.


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