Consumers want simplicity, speed, and convenience. They come to your site to find information. Make life easy for them, and they'll thank you with their business.
Boring is beautiful on the Internet because the Internet is a very functional place. Because of low bandwidth and time pressure, it works best when it is designed using a "bare bones" approach rather than a "bells and whistles" approach.
Keep It Simple
Quality Internet design should be about functionality and simplicity. It should be all about helping the reader carry out a task in the simplest, fastest possible manner. If keeping it simple and fast means that the Web page doesn't look that graphically appealing, then so be it. If keeping it simple and fast means using standard rather than cutting-edge technology, then so be it.
The reader (consumer) wants simplicity. The reader wants speed. The reader wants convenience. The reader comes to your Web site to find out something. Having done that, he or she may want to carry out an action (purchase). Make life easy for them. They will thank you with their business.
Keep It Functional
A great many Web sites are making life hard for the reader. Consider the following:
Follow America Online
The boring are inheriting the Internet, with America Online being a case in point. Wired magazine reluctantly described America Online as "unsexy and unstoppable." According to a Business Week article in March 2001, "At every turn in the emergence of the Internet, America Online has been an object of scorn. Silicon Valley geeks sneered at its cheery user-friendliness and derisively dubbed it 'America on training wheels.'"
America Online has always understood the need to keep it simple. It is the master of understanding its customers and using the Internet for what it can do today, not what we all would like it to be able to do. Boring is beautiful as long as it drives the bottom line. Just ask America Online.
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