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Tom’s & Douglas’s Barns New Website…Will it pass the ‘Blink Test’?

Blink! And it’s gone…

One looks at websites for apparently five seconds – or is it fifteen – before deciding whether one’s bored or not, whether to stick around a little longer or ‘switch channels’ to the next site. It’s quite frightening, really thinking what butterfly minds and shallow brains we’re all developing so quickly.

To linger or not to linger – apparently, the question is resolved almost instantly, and at any rate before one takes a single involuntary blink.

Anyone the remotest bit alert, with one second to spare, will have noticed that our current website has not altered for over a week. We had ample warning that our web man intended changing servers but when it actually happened we were caught unprepared with an embarrassing notice on the home page about availability which has long since been booked and the date passed!). Sorry about that.

All is restored to health now, thank goodness. However, it has meant that for over a week we have been caught in a serverless limbo, with hands completely tied, unable to update the info or write a blog post…

Despite the silence, progress on the new website continues – albeit unseen. And despite the silence John and I have not been spirited away; we are still both here, as large as life although, ‘to be honest’ as they say, as if not normally honest, we have actually just returned from a quick and delightful couple of days in Chester.

(But even while we’re away John’s and my minds aren’t totally distracted elsewhere: with phones and iPad we are still in email contact, with our SuperControl online booking system we can take bookings wherever we are and with our new SagePay virtual terminal can still take payments… Technology is marvellous, while it works.)

And we have still been thinking about our website. We so want it to be lovely – useful, attractive and easy to navigate. The design is one thing, which thankfully we are leaving in very capable hands. Photographs, thanks to Jeremy Brough and John are not a problem. The content needs lots of attention, which is up to my rather less capable hands. Mostly it will be a question of making the information easier to take in, breaking it up into chunks rather than reams of print.

Making it easy to use and easy to find one’s way around is probably the most important thing. We’ve all got bogged down in wonderful, highly costly websites where one can’t see what to do next, or one can but it doesn’t work. If any of you would be kind enough to offer to test it out we’d be very grateful. We have already had one offer but ideally there will be several of you, because everyone’s mind tends to work in a different way.

But …it’s got to look good enough for everyone else to stick around to try to use it. It really is a vicious circle. Don’t blink too quickly!

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