October 25, 2007
We've all been there and done that.
Digital doesn't undo, digital doesn't destruct, digital brings to life!
We as users don't want more, we don't have any more room for more.
We want better. We want easier. We want simpler.
We want both simplistic and deep interactions and we want to decide when and where to interact with each.
So please, when you design a home page or a landing page, speak to why I came to you, not what you want me to do. If you want to feature your added offerings or sell me on something new, do it in a way that respects the user.
In a grocery store you can put the milk in the back. You wouldn't however - put a maze in the store - requiring shoppers to go up and down multiple isles to get to the milk. The customers would leave and never return.
So why do so many websites ignore this basic principle?
Ajax is nice, but only when it empowers a more streamlined, easy and accessible interface.
If you're marketing mantra is "always be closing" you might as well close.
If you're scared of something new, don't be. The same rules that have always applied still do. Digital media didn't reinvent humanity, it evened the playing field, opening new opportunities.
On that note: Amazon is, in my mind, one of the greatest sites at delivering you straight to what you're looking for, and only then following up the experience by making their additional pitch.
However, the recent buzz around some questionable practices is quickly killing the posititiy generated by their outstanding design and user experience. I don't care how smart your engine or platform may be, mess with your customers and they won't come back. Work with them, and you just may succeed in this wacky world of ours.
Update: though I didn't read his post until after I had already published this one, check out Daniel Cohen's similar and very well written post on this subject here.