In other words, we tend to fall in love with our own ideas and creations.
If you have ever been around kids, you’ve probably had that moment when they rushed up to you with their latest artwork. You look and see scribbles, no definitive shapes or clue as to what this is. The child is thrilled and proud of their accomplishment. The best you can do is praise them, as you should, even if you think this is crap. The child’s ego is the most precious commodity at that moment. This need to be recognized for our creativity is important, but the self-empowerment associated with the creation encourages us to go on creating, making new crap.
Explained in “Beware of the IKEA Effect, a.k.a. Being Biased Towards Your Own Ideas” from Lifehacker:
The IKEA Effect is when we attach greater value to something we make than the same product built by others. That seems natural enough, since the act of creating inspires confidence and pride. In a series of studies, however, Mochon and his colleagues also found that people who feel incompetent might be more vulnerable to the IKEA Effect, since building your own stuff is a way to “signal to others that you are competent.” Conversely, if you’re given an esteem boost, you’re not as interested in having to prove your competence and, perhaps, will be more objective about the value of your ideas/creations.
The psychological phenomenon extends beyond handcrafts, arts and crafts, and do-it-yourself. It impacts the board room, and it also impacts bloggers.
Bloggers tend to fall in love with their posts, especially if it is a big idea. If they believe it hasn’t been done before, there is even more emotional attachment and investment in the idea.
They tend to fall in love with their own points of view on a subject, sometimes not seeing the forest for the trees, or the tree in the forest.
Bloggers who have a few web design and development skills, those who design and tweak their own sites, also develop a strong sense of ownership in the web design elements they added to the site, whether or not they were ever good ideas for their readers.
It’s time to recognize if you are suffering from the IKEA Effect when it comes to your blog.
In this blog exercise, it’s time to step back, take a fresh look, respect the opinions of others, check stats, get outside help or advice on your blog.
Start with a fresh perspective on your site. Look at it as if you are a first-time visitor. What is the first thing you see? The second? Where does your eye travel though the page? Does it stay fixed at a single point or move around? Does what you see with this new view match what you thought about your reader’s experiences?
Ask for help. Ask others, people close to you, to look at your site and offer their opinion on what they see. Does the color and design represent the purpose of the site? Can they tell immediately what the site is about? Do the post titles make them want to click? Does it make sense? Is it ready to read?
Then expand out to other people. Put up a poll or survey on your site to ask for feedback. Consider hiring a web consultant to do a site review for perception and blog focus and demographic evaluations.
Check your site stats against your perception of the articles that are most popular and representative of your site’s purpose. Is the traffic going where you wish it to go?
Look at your site with fresh eyes and check your vested interests at the door. Remember, the purpose of your site is to share you and your content with others, therefore it must serve those whom receive your sharing. Make changes on your site accordingly.