$.49 for a First Class Stamp
(and $.21 per additional ounce)
Yikes, that was simple. But not at the official US Postal Service web site where you need to fill out a form, complete with zip codes, dates of mailing, size of envelope, etc. When you want just a simple piece of information, being required to fill out a complex form is soooo inconvenient! Wouldn’t it be better to provide visitors with a simple chart, listing the most common amounts of postage?
There is a lesson in this for us all. Make information on a web site as simple to find as possible. If most people a telephone number, then make it as visible as possible on the top of your home page. Same goes for your physical address, fax number, or email address if those are important to your clientele. Hiding this sort of information is counter-productive to your business.
While one of the great advantages of having a web site is the ability to make many pages of information about your business readily available, it is important to keep in mind that many (most?) people are seeking a simple piece of information from you. Find out what your customers want, and give it to them on your home page, above the fold. Your first screen of information is a billboard. You work hard to get people to that first screen, so ensure that they can immediately receive the information they desire.
P.S. You may have already guessed that this post (OK, you can call it a rant) was inspired by an attempt to find the price for a simple postage stamp. It should have been simple, but the Post Office was more interested in tying-in their expensive Spider Man advertising campaign than they were in making it simple to send a basic letter. It is spending its taxpayer-funded advertising dollars to promote something that does not matter to most people, while hiding the most important information we all need and want. Seems like basic business common sense, but apparently it isn’t.