Archived Blog Post: February 22, 2000
Something I should not have to be saying this late in the Web game:
- Good business sites work because they are simple and quick-to-load sites without a lot of graphical nonsense.
- Bad business sites have lots of visual spoo.
- Then someone realizes that potential customers / readers / whatever are getting turned off because no one wants to wait for hours to download your stupid animated graphics.
- So they do a "simple" version of the site, presumably for people on "slow connections" (read: not on the ad agency's DS-3 connection).
- So the user gets to the site, and instead of finding the material they're looking for, has to make a decision about what kind of connection they have (and, if they are Joe Average User, they neither know nor care).
- But that is not the point.
- The real point is:
- It's always framed in pejorative terms. There's "high quality" and "low quality". Invariably the terms are in the wrong place. "High quality" is supposed to mean "cute graphics" but in fact means "the user experience sucks". "Low quality" refers to "simple and easy to use on a slow connection", which, as you may have noticed, contains "simple and easy to use". This drives me up the wall.
- A better suggestion might be to call one "fast" and the other one "pretty".
- An even better suggestion might be to stop pretending you're the next Mark Rothko, drop the snazzy graphics, drop the stupid choice, make the page simple, and concentrate on the customer's needs and the experience they'll have while at your site.