Ditch ‘resources,’ ‘solutions,’ and ‘tools’ as Web links

These confusing links usually crop up in silo-ridden organizations. The division between departments will come through on your website and make it hard for customers to find what they need.

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There are no silos on the Web. The Web is a network, and everything you do impacts that network.

Departments and various other units make up organizations. Each unit has its own staff, budget and objectives. Each has its own sense of identity and independence. It’s hard for one unit of an organization to understand how another unit works.

When it comes to the Web, individual units like to have individual websites, or at least their own sections of the website.

I once tested a website where the “resources” link caused a lot of confusion. It was a classic dirty magnet link—it drew clicks for the wrong reasons and sent people in the wrong directions.

When I asked why it had this vague name, the company told me it was for a special unit of the organization that produced videos and special manuals. It would have been better to spread the unit’s content throughout the website, but the unit said it needed its own section to make its content easier to manage.

I came across a link called “tools” on an intranet that caused a lot of confusion. The company said that was where IT kept its tools (applications). “It’s easier for them to manage, and they like to have their own section,” they said.

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