It’s time for a good rant. I’m long overdue. Today’s subject is respect.
Design – good design – shows respect for your readers. Bad design shows your contempt for them.
People are smart. We like to be wooed and wowed. We don’t like lowest
common denominator work. If your site looks like a dog’s breakfast, I’m
going to assume you just don’t care about me enough to engage me
mentally and emotionally.
That assumption is a built-in response – it’s automatic. It’s why we’re drawn to the pretty and avoid the hideous
Think of it this way: you go to the bank to get some advice. You have
a choice of three managers to speak with: one is dressed in a stately
blue suit, one in stylish slacks and shirt, and the last in muddy boots
and torn jeans. Which of the three immediately commands the least
respect? Sure, the slobby guy may be the most knowledgable of the
three, but his contempt for his station and for my expectations of
professionalism makes me nervous. Besides, am I willing to take the risk
with my money? Get where I’m going here?
I’m not saying that every site on the internet has to be pretty. But
it should be appropriate to its purpose. That blue suited banker would
be totally out of place on a muddy construction site.
So how does this come back to respect? Simple really. A badly
designed site is just sloppy. And Sloppiness shows you just don’t care
all that much. Doesn’t it?