Ugly Websites Win
Ian Lurie Mar 24 2006
Ugly websites work best. Think back on the most successful sites on the internet: Google? Ugly. Craigslist? Ugly. Ebay? Ugly. Yahoo? Most successful when they were ugly. IMDB.com? Astonishingly ugly. And right behind them come Blogger.com, Amazon.com, etc.. None of these sites will win any design awards. They have faces only an investor could love.
These sites succeed because they put message and function first, form second. Land on Google and you see a search box. That’s it. On Craigslist you see lots of, well, lists. On Amazon you see products. There’s nothing between you and the reason you’re there.
Ugly sites work because they’re easy to use. And because the people who built them were more worried about satisfying visitors than their own egos.
When you’re redesigning your own site, and you’re about to tell your designer something like “I want people to get excited when they see our page”, remember this article. What you really want visitors to do is get excited when they see your product, or service. Right?
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More