Running a successful photo business is seen to be mostly about getting the right photographers, and good marketing. To make the most of those it’s important to get all the little things right.  The angel (or the devil) is in the detail.

Many a business has failed, or been less successful than it could be, because grand visions weren’t backed up by getting the little things right, often around the user experience or how difficult it was for staff to do their jobs.

If finding an image is a little slow due to a minor glitch in the system, customers will vote with their mouse and go elsewhere.  If staff are continually having to use dropdown menus for keywording, they will be slower, pushing the cost up.

Here are some of the details that should be optimised:

  • Minimise clicks wherever they occur, so that customers and staff can do what they need to do faster.
  • Make text easy to read – Preferably with a decent font and size, and black on white, not white on black.
  • Minimise scrolling – The act of going up and down a page is time-consuming, so try to keep the “action zone” viewable on a single screen.
  • Avoid long dropdown lists, or dropdowns generally – It is annoying and time consuming to scroll through lists of the world’s countries when making internet purchases.  The same rule applies when selecting territorial rights or doing complicated tasks such as keywording.
  • Automate “choice” – Where tasks require decisions, it makes sense to minimise how many decisions need to be made. So if things such as whether a set is exclusive, its rights and other metadata can be added automatically, it will save a lot of time and money.  Not just in the time taken to do the task, but also from avoiding the fallout caused by mistakes from human error.
  • Speed redraw – The faster web pages display, the better the experience for customers and staff.

Most importantly, listen to customers and people doing the work, about how irksome or time-consuming a part of your system is – indeed, invite their comments. If it’s enough to comment on, it is a serious problem, even if it’s only a detail.

To find out how outsourcing can improve your efficiency, click here.