Snow Globes and Security Checkpoints

I was standing in a lengthy security line at LaGuardia Airport last month, when I came upon this sign.

My first response was, “Seriously?” My second response was, “And now you tell us?” Because a traveler needs to know about the sanction on snow globes before they get to the security checkpoint. In fact, wouldn’t the right time to share this rule come before you fork over cash for the snow globe at the airport gift shop?

Given this restriction, I’m not even sure why they sell snow globes at LaGuardia. My theory is that there are only six snow globes in the entire airport, which are sold at the gift shops, confiscated at security and resold again. But I digress.

My point is actually about the Web. It’s about the responsibility we have to our audience to give them what they need where and when they need it.

Take individuals experiencing chest pain. If they’re deciding where to go for help, they’re most likely looking at ER information – not searching through your cardiovascular content.

So meet them where they are. Include signs of a heart attack – and signs of a stroke – in your ER section. Anticipate what else they’ll need:

  • Wait times
  • Maps and directions
  • What to bring – lists of medication (or the medication itself), information about allergies, recent test results, an insurance card

And of course, if they have symptoms of heart attack, emphasize the need to call 911 immediately. Lifesaving care doesn’t begin at the hospital. It starts the moment the call is made – with instructions from the dispatcher and when EMS arrives on the scene.

Follow this thinking throughout your website. Identify some of the most common reasons people come to your site – such as scheduling a mammogram, paying a bill or signing up for a class – and give them what they need to complete that task.

Step into your users’ shoes. What do they need to know? What information should they have before they start? How can you avoid snow globe scenarios?

Make it as easy as possible for them to take action – and avoid surprises – and you’re well on your way to positive user experiences and patient satisfaction.

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This entry was posted in Consumer Expectations, Content, User Experience by Michelle LeCompte. Bookmark the permalink.
Michelle LeCompte

About Michelle LeCompte

Michelle has the ability to step back and see the big picture. And for someone who manages a team full of creative energy, this is an invaluable trait. As the director of our award-winning designers and expert content strategists, Michelle ensures that our work on behalf of clients is strategically focused on optimizing Web interactions to achieve business objectives. Her team helps clients reach key audiences, measure the success of Web initiatives, and stay on top of best practices and industry trends.

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