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A Mother’s Talents…


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At brunch today with the extended family and my mom, she leaned over to me and told me there was a problem with my website.

Or, I think that’s what she said. It was more like “when I go to your site, I get a lost something.”

A lost something? My mind went to the classic “404 Not Found” error when a website can’t find a page. But it wasn’t that. Or it shouldn’t have been that. “What?” I asked.

“When I go to your site, there’s a message saying lost something and for me to click on something and I don’t click on things online.” Good to know my warnings about reading things before clicking have gotten through in some fashion–now instead of clicking, she just doesn’t. It’s like trying to get my kids to do something…Maybe she’ll read the page next.

So I went to my website on my phone and found the problem: some test software I put on my page had taken over the default path for the site. Except there was no message about a lost anything. The header talked about Joomla, the software I installed.

Okay, so I knew what I had to do to get it back to this form. And it made me realize something: my mother–heck, my parents, actually–should be interface testers for websites all over. I mean, I’ve heard from mom over the years when one of her frequently visited websites rolled out a redesign that she couldn’t find things, or it was made more difficult to use. And I’ve had to walk her through some of those, and once she gets it, she understands how to use it, if the site was designed well and sensibly.

So, as she’s kind of retired (sort of) again, maybe I can offer her services to websites to tell them when they’re not working properly or have a design that really sucks.

At least, that service worked for me. Thanks, mom!

See you tomorrow.