Last night I had one of my more memorable dreams. This is the dream:
Anyone who is familiar with Kingston will know The Bentall Centre. Well, I was there. I went up to the first floor to discover Game (the recently saved seller of video games) was closed. I asked the guy standing outside what was going on and he said, “This Game is now a grocery store”. I said “What?”. The guy said, “Yeah, we’ve had an awesome idea that we now want this Game to be a a grocery store that closes at 9am so people can get their groceries before work”. This seemed a reasonable response (it was a dream!). I then asked, “How’s it going?”. “Not that well”, he replied, “The Bentall Centre doesn’t open until 9, and we close at 9”. “Oh,” I thought, “Where are all the games then?”. “We moved then” the guy responded.
BACK TO REALITY (imagine harps playing like they do on the telly).
Now, I’m not saying what I’m going to write about now is directly related, but my mind has managed to make some parallels with a very informative session given the other day by Joe Dix and Ian James about responsive web design.
Have I lost you? No? Wow.
Game clearly thought they had a great idea with their early morning grocery store (in the dream, I hasten to add). They could have had the greatest line of fruit and veg on the planet, but they closed before the shopping centre opened, meaning customers couldn’t get there if they tried. There may have even been some very frustrated gamers waiting outside to get their hands on Game branded fruit and veg.
Forgetting the silly idea of Game selling groceries, I think the idea stands. Actually, two ideas:
- You could think you have an amazing idea or concept but actually, from the outside in, it is just too abstract. If you have to explain what you’re doing and why it’s relevant, it’s probably not ideal for your audience. Of course exceptions may need to be made if you’re communicating a particularly different, new or important message.
- If people can’t get to the content/idea/product you’ve come up with, you may as well have no content at all.
Which is where responsive design comes in. You could have the greatest content in the world, presented beautifully in one particular way, but it may be totally unusable for your audience, meaning all the effort you put into it goes to waste.
Veering slightly away from the original dream
One of the key takeouts from our sessions yesterday, was that you need to work from the ground up when producing content. Focus on your audience. What content do you need to show at a bare minimum, what would we like to show, what won’t we show – cues taken from my newly learned MoSCoW acronym.
The way we produce content has fundamentally changed as we need to think of a whole range of different uses for it, i.e. is it good for blog posts, Twitter, Facebook, desktop or mobile audiences etc. Mobile, especially, has thrown a curveball – what content do we show these users? All of it? Some of it? If we only show some of the content, what are they missing out on? Why does the hidden content need to be shown to anyone at all? It’s now less about ‘let’s just chuck this content on our website and tweet it’. It’s about understanding what we have already, what we need and then developing that content from the ground up for use on appropriate media.
Also take it as a chance to move away from doing things you always do just because ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’. Test new ideas, different layouts, different styles of content – you may find out things about your audience you’d have never known otherwise.
I’m sure this is nothing you haven’t heard before, I just like how it ties in with one of my silly dreams.
Anyone wondering where they moved the games in Game to (unlikely), I asked the guy in the dream about this too. “Oh, yeah, they moved the actual Game store down to Castle Street, where the old Korean Food shop used to be” (What Korean Food shop, I hear you ask. IDK). I toddled off to the other Game store. To my dismay, this one also sold groceries.