Whenever I say design is important there are inevitably people who come back and say
but what about Steve Pavlina?
And although I get it, is has an easy answer! Those sites were born when the internet – let’s face it – was crap. When we were all really just cottoning onto it and jumping on the bandwagon. They built loyal and strong audiences through their content and usefulness. I’m willing to bet with a redesign that those sites would be do much, much, much better.
And that’s where good design comes in. The 20th century form follows function has evolved. Design, functionality and copy are all important -> they all affect each other either positively or negatively.
A site with amazing design but crap content will die.
A site with incredible copy but shit design will lose readers. And starting in a sea of 345 million websites, with 7 seconds to impress a first time visitor (who are judging on visual not reading) there best be something good.
A site that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do for the user will create frustrated clients and turn readers away.
A site that doesn’t do what it could do for the administrator/s will make it frustrating to manage and consume too much time – which is money.
So on a cold night in the Netherlands, I wanted to buy people cupcakes. Specifically in Toronto (Canada) and Brisbane (Australia).
So off to Google this little lass went. And what she found beyond the search box was a world of horror unrivaled by Voldemort himself.
Transported back in time she rediscovered MS Paint, the use of microsoft word in web design, altogether far too many pink stripes and a surprising amount of heavy, metallica inspired colors for cupcake stores.
99% of the websites did not have online ordering. The one or two that did looked frighteningly like someone might receive the credit card numbers and either draw the thing blank for a Prince in Nigeria or wonder what those 16 digits were for.
I’m not a fan of calling people and businesses out but I’d like to show you a small taste of some of the websites I stumbled across. These are from page 1 or 2 from my Google results. Arguably what should be the best sites for what I’m requesting. I’ve no idea of the status of these businesses, but I know that for $50 you can have a nice polished template up. And there’s rarely any exceptions to not needing a good online presence (unless you don’t want to do amazing business).
So what’s a girl to do but cry?
The story ended both happily and sadly. It was sadly not a fairytale for the crew in Brisbane did not receive their super well deserved cupcakes. There was not a website to be found that had online ordering to get some cupcakes delivered to some hard workers. The one or two websites that looked half decent had no option. She gave up after page 7.
In Canada, her friend had a happy ending. Desmond and Beatrice did not show up in the first five pages of her Google search but in a frustrated tizz she saw an article for the best cupcake stores in Toronto and one of them was D&B. In a fabulous stroke of luck they had just implemented online ordering and had a simple but beautiful website to boot.
It’s clean, simple, easy to navigate and most of all it does what you need it to do. Securely. Prettily and did I mention easily?
And whilst it’s not the most amazing website you’ll ever see, in a sea of absolute rubbish they stand out like…pink frosting with sprinkles.
When it comes to your business you’ve got to be good. And if you want to make more money, be talked about, do well, find opportunity, grow and create – then you’ve got to do much better.
And if you think a functionality isn’t important, like selling online – think twice. I would send cupcakes to people once a month if I had a go to list. I’ll always use D&B in Toronto now and Becca ordered from there once we chatted about it. She’ll probably tell some of her friends and that’s how the cycle goes…
Evolve and upgrade. It makes life and business that much easier.
Time for your business to head up?
There’s a world of opportunity out there (or hit me up if you want to start a cupcake store).