It’s insidious. It lurks in the shadows, waiting for a chance to strike. It knows no remorse. It has no feelings. Its only desire is to inflate your website. It is… Justadditis.
All websites start out with good intentions. Everyone wants theirs to be a beacon of light in the darkness of disinformation. So you carefully plan out the architecture, crafting navigation, categories and subcategories of pages and so on. If you’re really well-intentioned, you user-test your site before bringing it to life with an elegant but stylish interface worthy of your brand. It’s your baby, after all: you want to give it every advantage.
Launch day arrives. You unleash your creation on the world, revelling in the congratulations, and deservingly so: it’s a work of art.
And then it begins.
- You add a page
- You upload another document
- You add a new section for the new campaign
- You add another part to the navigation
And so it goes. From day to day, page to page, section to section, your website grows, adding a little each week or month, bolting on a new piece, uploading more stuff, just adding one more thing.
What harm could it do?
That’s when the virus enters the website, innocently enough at first. After all, what harm is there in just adding one page? Or section? Or document? Surely you can just add one thing?
At that point, you fall victim to a chronic case of Justadditis.
Fast forward a couple of years. Your lean, clean website has grown to half the size of the Library of Congress. It’s become unusable, more archive than resource. Surveying the damage, you heave a sigh and ask “Where did it all go wrong?!”
There are ways to immunize yourself against chronic Justadditis.
It sounds kind of dull, but it’s the gold standard for good decision-making. If everyone agrees to follow a mutually agreed-upon set of rules, great things can happen. The challenge is getting everyone to agree to play by the rules.
- Web Team
Even if you can’t get everyone to abide by a set of rules, getting representatives from each unit to work together is the next best thing. Having some kind of cross-functional team overseeing and managing the content that gets the thumbs-up on your site brings awareness to how much stuff actually goes live, and makes it harder to put things up that don’t serve a purpose.
Objective data shines a light on your practices, making it difficult to “just add things” if they don’t move the needle on your analytics. The best part is that this is impersonal as long as it’s presented in a constructive, unbiased manner. Is the long tail of content getting you down? What’s getting results? What isn’t? What are people paying attention to? What are they ignoring? Let data do the talking.
In the absence of goals, politics drives a lot of decision-making on your website. Goals create expectations, and expectations fight Justadditis.