Jehn, my co-founder, and I spent last weekend editing our launch page for Collabo (coming REAL soon). We did all the things good co-founders do: developed pain point language that framed our product in terms of benefits as opposed to features, kept things brief, designed the calls-to-action to be eye-catching, sprinkled in some humanizing funny bits, etc., etc. It was glorious…that is, until we stepped back for a few minutes and began to ask very basic questions. The most significant one was, “What the f*ck is this?!”, henceforth to be known as the WTFIT? Test.
It’s a common problem, from my experiences and talks with peers, among those of us who build things or market ourselves. Some times you’re just too damn close to the project to be able to see it the way the market will. After all the effort Jehn and I put into the Collabo site design and copywriting, we simply had to acknowledge that we didn’t really answer WTFIT? for the first-time visitor. How is that freakin’ possible?! We toiled over the damn project, designing and redesigning and red-penning damn near everything. Maybe we didn’t see the forest for the trees. Regardless, you can learn from my mistakes. Regardless of your project – blog post, startup, site build – take some time to step back and see the big picture, preferably from the user’s point of view.