Why your next website should be boring

Doing a new website this year?

If so, it should be absolutely and utterly boring. (I’m serious!)

But before I explain, I’d like to share something that Sam Morgan from Trademe said back in 2004 (before he sold the business for $700m!)

Sam said (website lessons from trademe)

Sam said: Everyone who is building a website right now is trying to be innovative, and that doesn’t interest us here at trademe.

Sam said: While everyone is trying to change the game online, we’re trying really hard to work within the established norms of the internet.

Sam said: Although most web-designers are trying new stuff, we’re focused on delivering exactly what people expect, and nothing more.

And guess what?

Trademe is bloody boring.

It was then, and it still is now.

Go ahead and look at the homepage (go on!)

  • There’s nothing fancy about it
  • It’s mostly plain text and links
  • Most web-designers* would say it’s a pretty ugly site in terms of design

It’s soooo boring!

Think like trademe

Trademe is focused on meeting it’s customers expectations in a no-nonsense manner. And your website should be no different.

For example:

  • When people are browsing through your website, they expect any links to be blue and underlined (that’s the norm)
  • When people are looking to contact you, they expect to see the words contact us (not ‘get in touch’ or something else)
  • When people click on your logo on your website, they expect to be taken to your home page

Is that boring? Heck yes!

But will your customers care? I doubt it.

The missing person in the web design process

The problem is that basic website projects normally revolve around 2 key stakeholders; web designers and business owners.

Let’s take your next website as an example:

Your web designer*

  • Wants to build a website that you’re happy with (and happy to pay for!)
  • Loves implementing cool features and using new technology (that’s why they do web-design!)
  • Wants a nice looking site to add to their portfolio (understandably)

Yourself (as the business owner)

  • You want to portray a professional image of your business
  • You want to outline your key products or services (understandably)

But what about your customer?

They’re often the missing person in the web-design process.

Your customer

  • Wants solutions to their problems (making the wording on your website super important)
  • Wants to know that they can trust you (making trust indicators like testimonials critical)
  • Wants to be told what to do next (eg, contact us, request a quote or join an email list)

Make your next website boring

Think like trademe and keep your customer’s needs front of mind when you build your next website.

ps – Need help making your website more boring? Contact me

* I’m stereotyping, not all web-designers are like this!

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