Garage Door Lesson – Website Help!
When the dust cleared and the glass had stopped clinking- I looked over to see my finger clamped firmly and squashed flatly between two sections of the heavy wooden door. I had no one around, no other neighbors were home, and I was trapped, in lots of pain, and unable to get free or lift the door (what would you do?). I tried pulling my cell phone out of my pocket but inside the garage, there was no signal.
I yelled for what seemed forever, but in reality was maybe five minutes, yet no one came.
It’s very clear to me … In a matter of life and death (ok-life and death of a finger), nothing happened until I specifically yelled for help with exact directions where to come. I tried for five minutes screaming just for help- that didn’t work. Only when I screamed the address where I was at and what the problem was, did I finally get a good response.
I told 2 guys to stay outside-3 to come around back and come inside. I had 2 go to work on the pulleys on either side and get them back in the track, the other one called 911. After what seemed like ages, the door was back on track and lifted high enough to allow the finger to be finally pulled out from between the sections. Ugh. It was nasty looking, flatter than a pancake …( almost surreal).
Moral of the story: Design your site and your linking strategies as if your life (or finger) depended on it. Be specific, be specific, and oh yeah, be specific.
Dan Peterson always talks about “leading a customer through your site”. Don’t leave anything to chance. They want to be told exactly what to do next.
Now, you may be wondering what in the world this painful story has to do with web design– but read on and I’ll explain …
I released the door from the opener and it began closing way too quickly. As I rushed over to try and slow it’s decent, I grabbed the handle with my left hand and was trying to grab anything with my right hand. Unfortunately, the only thing that got grabbed was my pinky finger – two knuckles up. The 1000 lb. the door came crashing down so hard it broke the glass in one of its sections.
We need to do the same thing with our web design and linking strategies. Specifics- Lead the client or potential client through the process step by step clearly. Use accurate keywords and descriptive text for all your links. Don’t scream out generically, or they will never know where to go next. All they’ll hear is a vacant echo, as they continue doing what they were doing before. And they’ll probably end up someone else’s client because they can’t hone in on where the cry for action is coming from and where they need to go.
So as I stood there in gut-wrenching pain, totally unable to move or get free, I thought to myself, “maybe people are hearing my cry for help, but don’t know where it’s coming from. It could be just echoing around the neighborhood …”.
Within a minute or two about 5 guys came running down the street from somewhere (I don’t know where) and up the driveway. They began trying to pry the door up but it had come off the track and was jammed. Their prying was only clamping the door sections even tighter on my finger.
Last Thursday afternoon I was working on a garage door and regrettably loosened the torsion spring too much. This spring is what relieves or neutralizes the weight of the garage door so the openers can work without burning out and so you don’t have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger to open it.
Miraculously, after being rushed to the hospital, blood had begun to flow back into the finger and x-rays revealed only a broken knuckle. Because it had been caught sideways, the tendons and nerves were preserved and not cut, aside from some numbness and pain, the finger is well on its way to a full recovery (Phew! Really glad I didn’t cut it off now).
I did the only thing I could – I screamed for help through the broken glass …
Here is the crazy garage door video!