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The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online Paperback – 17 Jun 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd (17 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408114429
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408114421
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 1.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 434,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Our work with Gerry increased understanding across our team... The result is a significant improvement (+20%) in our customers' ability to find what they need in Pinpoint.' Peter Horsman, Global Site Management Lead for Microsoft Pinpoint 'Gerry's customer-centric approach to website development has helped us reshape and dramatically improve Cisco's Partner Central.' Luanne Tierney, Vice President, Worldwide Partner Marketing, Cisco 'We have used Gerry's real customer-centric approach to improve the ability of our employees to solve frequently performed tasks - in one area more than a 50% improvement was achieved.' Gabriel Olsson, e-Communications Director, Tetra Pak

About the Author

Gerry McGovern is the author of several influential books, including Killer Web Content (A & C Black, 2006). He is a sought-after speaker at international conferences on Web content management and has worked with many leading organisations, such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Aer Lingus.

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Format: Paperback
I would recommend this highly engaging and easily accessible book to anyone who is involved with running a website. Quite frankly, it is essential reading!

The main premise of this riveting read is that this is the age of the customer. The customer is king and if organisations and companies are going to be successful with their websites, they need to ensure that they focus on what their customer's want, in particular the top tasks - the main reasons why customers have come to your site in the first place.

Theories, though, are only any good if they actually work in practice and that is the real beauty of this book; Gerry reinforces the points he is making with several real-life scenarios and case studies where he has successfully put his ideas into practice, often with spectacular results leaving the reader in no doubt that what he says actually works.

Over the years, Gerry has successfully worked with some of the world's biggest organisations and companies, helping them to successfully turn their websites around and improve their performance, often beyond all recognition. However, you don't need to be involved with a huge multinational corporation to benefit from the theories, practical tips, insights and advice which this book is crammed full of from cover to cover.

Whether you are a web-based professional or run your own website for your own business, this book is jam-packed with customer-focussed ideas, strategies and insights that if put into practice really could be the difference between the success and failure of your website. Ignore it at your peril.
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Format: Paperback
Quite simply ... if you work designing solutions for the web then buy this book and, more importantly, read it.

I've worked on the web for over 15 years, mainly websites, and read voraciously in that time about content, IA, UX, users, etc. etc. and yet this book blows away all the so-called expert advice, axioms and preconceived ideas that one gets handed about users, information architecture and content design in one fell swoop.

Basically, McGovern's "top tasks" methodology is a practical and evidence-based approach to web solution design that is both simple and straightforward to apply, and yet works beautifully for large-scale information-centric websites. In particular, I love the idea of "continuous improvement" vs "launch and leave", and here is the evidence to prove that the former wins out in a world dominated by the "quick fix".

And while the concept of data-driven design is something I have been toying with for a while. McGovern's ideas take us back to basics by showing us that we have still not solved the problem of ensuring "findability" on the web, and in an engaging way he gives us practical and content-centric ways to do just that.

Remember .... Buy it, read it.
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Format: Paperback
Very readable, including the bits with hard data - real and extensive research presented with a lighthearted feel. The Stranger's Long Neck (which refers to the few things very many "strangers" come to a website to do - on a graph it looks like a long neck) gives step by step advice on how to continually evolve a website by identifying customers'/ employees' top tasks (and those SUPER tasks), helping them serve themselves online and testing task completion. The goals are realistic and down-to-earth enough for any web team.

As many of us involved with websites are unconsciously organisation-centric, we have to make a real, daily effort to stay in touch with customers' needs - this book shows that the effort is essential but also manageable.
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Format: Paperback
I am a fan of Gerry's weekly emails. These are thought provoking and full of good ideas. It was because of my positive experience with these that I purchased this book. I was not disappointed. This book is full of insightful information that can be put to use in any web site. The layout is very simple and effective - the "headline text" presents very powerful statements that are easy to memorise.

The writing style is engaging with a nice sprinkling of humour which again is a good memory aid.

All in all a good read with lots of useful information and suggestions that you can actually use in your web site.
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