Sandy ELP members should be looking over their shoulders for pursuing highway patrol officers. Why? They have recklessly exceeded lawfuldodge_charger_police_car  “ahmph” limits! What are “ahmph’s,” you ask? They are “Ah-Ha Moments Per Hour.”  Sandy ELP is notorious for providing criminal levels of ahmph’s.

Last Friday’s group was no exception. Shamelessly, site leader Jay Taylor started out by reading off a long list of words that included:  appreciation, excellence, hope, inspiration, commitment, fortitude, enlargement, strength, wellness, prosperity, progress, growth and transformation. He then asked the group to do their “me in 30 seconds” presentations by stating, “I am ________ because ________.”

It was enlightening and ahmph-producing when group members mentioned they were: leaders, successful, creative, peaceful, amazing, “a dreamer,” believed, “the best,” positive, happy, joyful, full and formidable. It’s always great to shake things up a bit in order to think differently about your business. Changing your attitude changes your direction and your destiny. How much of your success is from your attitude?

The meeting took a tragic turn toward even more “ahmph’s” when presenter, Steve Ellis, took the floor to follow-up and expand on the last week’s topic – website best practices. Some key points were:

  • If you want someone to contact you, make it as easy as possible. This includes phone numbers and important links at the top.
  • Keep logos small
  • Don’t crowd the site; keep it uncluttered
  • Keep words to a minimum and use words that people are using in their searches
  • Use plug-ins that match your site
  • Use copyright symbol on your pages
  • If you have a log-in, put it at upper right corner
  • Put shopping cart to left of log-in
  • Don’t list all your products on the front page

Additional discussion focused around:

Payment Systems. Use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) for logins, shopping cart, credit cards and Social Security numbers. Consider doing it for the entire site.  It is only $13/year for https address, secure site.  Login should be encrypted. It is required by law to protect personal financial information.

Behavioral Flow. It is vital to understand what you want your site visitors to do, and in what order. Steve Ellis drew a diagram of behavioral flow and started with the home page with links to Contact Us, About, Product List, Shopping Cart (SC), Payment Platform.  Link all pages to each other.

Wireframe. A wireframe is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. Wireframes are created for the purpose of arranging elements to best accomplish a particular purpose. Therefore it is important to know what that purpose is before wireframing. Steve Ellis drew an example of wireframing a website on the whiteboard.

If Sandy ELP’s excessive “ahmph’s” continue at the current rate, many of its members may be doing business from prison. If you work or live anywhere near the Sandy location, you’re invited to drop by any Friday afternoon (1:00 – 3:00) to see what all the fuss is about.

By Chuck Chamberlain, ELP Editor-in-Chief