Steve Gebhart is GES' Product Director...

When I go to a useful website I'm generally not blown away with how simple they make interaction.  However, do it wrong and I'll notice every time. When I started at GES our vision for the new exhibitor web platform had been set: "Make it easy!"

This wasn't a small order. We provide many products and services from building a booth to laying carpet and pad to the services to clean it all (just to name a few). I compare it best to building a small city in a few days and then a few days later tearing it down and shipping it across the country.  It's not like selling apparel, books or shoes that I am familiar with having worked at Zappos.com, an Amazon company. Products, services, third party companies, labor union rules, show guidelines, venue regulations and schedules are all a part of the final product. It’s complex, to say the least.

So how does one make a site easy? Well for me the focus is on five simple things:

  • Get to the product or service users seek in as few clicks as possible.
  • Make the act of ordering easy – that means no video or written instructions (sticks out like a beacon – Warning: Complexity Ahead!)
  • Be concise!
  • Don’t bog down the site with flashy intros and multi-media – no one has the time!
  • Make the total shopping cart visible throughout the process so users know they are staying within budget.

Now, Rome wasn't built in a day (you knew I was going to use that one), but none of us are given much leeway to get it right the first time. So as we've built this platform we have been dedicated to continuing to ask ourselves:  “Is this easy? Could someone new to our industry order this in minutes? Could someone experienced find this information quickly? Are we making important things important?”

Great designs should be experienced, not seen. Please come experience our platform here and you might even win an iPad!

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