Nobody is interested in documentation, tools, videos, blogs or Twitter for their own sake. Their interest in these things is only in the context of the task they need to complete.

When I bought my house last year I inherited a lawnmower with it. Works fine except that I need to change the oil. What oil should I get? I go searching. I am a classic example of someone in need of support. I have a product and a problem.

It's a McCulloch machine. I go to their website. Nice visual design. Even has the sound of an engine growling (weird). I search for "oil change" and the model number. No results. I search for "user manual" and the model number. No results. Search sucks. McCulloch sucks.

I go searching on the Web and finally find the McCulloch user manual on another site. Strange. But this kind of thing happens all the time. Hey, you want to find a Japanese restaurant in Dublin. Don't go to Dublin and search. Search from London. It's much easier to find things in Dublin if you search from London.

I download the user manual and I go through it. It's in multiple languages which makes it a pain to scan. No joy. I use the PDF search function. There's nothing in the user manual about changing oil. Off I go searching again (Hi ho). Finally, I find out somewhere that it's 4-stroke oil, or something like that.

Was I looking for documentation? Was I looking for the user manual? No, I was looking to change my lawnmower engine oil. Here's what would have happened in a perfect world. I place "oil change" and the model number into search. The result says: "Use 4 stroke engine oil." That's the perfect search result. It contains the answer. You don't even need to click.

"Follow us on Twitter" Why? I'm not a stalker. I'm not a lap dog. Do you think my friends will be impressed if I tell them: "I follow lots of stuff on Twitter." Sure. "Join our newsletter." Why? "Watch our videos." Yeah? Oh, I haven't seen a video in days. Can't wait to see yours.

Formats are a really terrible form of navigation. I was talking to someone recently who has a big video section on their homepage. Let's say they're in the business of supporting start up companies. They gave customers tasks like: "Watch our video on how to get start up funding."

Not a single person found the videos. Why? Because they went scanning and searching for funding. They did not think video, they thought funding. When you want to book a flight do you go looking for a tool? Is Google a tool? Is Twitter or YouTube a tool? When you need to convert currency, do you think 'I need a tool to do this'?

Web teams are obsessed with their recently launched Twitter feeds, their tools, their documentation, videos, blogs. Customers are obsessed with their tasks. I just want to change the oil in my lawnmower. I want to do that in the fastest, easiest way possible.