Fashion Before Function?

August 17, 2009 - Filed under: Social,web design — Tags:

Most of the time I don’t get any reply from Craigslist ads that I respond to. Occasionally they will hire me or say “thank you, we’re going with someone else”, but usually nothing. This weekend I got a reply from one of the CL ads that said they weren’t going to use me because “I didn’t charge enough so I couldn’t be any good”.

I know people who know for certain that if something is more expensive it has to be better. I have never understood that thinking because I believe that price and quality are two separate things. They can be related or not so this reply really made me scratch my head. I sent back a reply that said OK, but it’s your loss.

The person sent me a venomous reply calling me names, telling me how much they hated my website and how unprofessional that I was. I knew right away it was a good thing that I didn’t have the “privilege” of working with someone who spoke to someone they didn’t even know that way. I’m sure that in the end he’ll get (and pay for) the website he truly deserves.

His email did get me thinking about my site. I have always believed that how elegant a site looks is far less important than how well it functions and how easy it is for the average visitor to find and use what they’re looking for. It’s nice to be pretty, but there are many sites that are plain and are incredibly functional (can you say Google). My site has brought me quite a bit of business over the years and I have had several non-customers tell me how much they’ve gotten out of my site, but I’m always wondering what else I can do to make it more functional and useful.

Last week Amy Africa wrote about almost this same thing. How you have to take a step back and view your site through your customers eyes. The most important thing by far is not how it looks, but how well it makes your visitor take the action that you want them to. It’s a good read.

Want to be successful online? Get your ego out of the equation!

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