Internet Marketing posted by Finn

The Downside of Writing on an Ugly Website | Bad User Experience Kills

Ugly Duckling

Getting acclimated into the next stage of my career could have been an excuse. A great NCAA Mens’ Basketball Tournament could be a factor. Laziness, plugging back in to the New Media matrix, remembering the blues, getting the area social events…sure. All of it could have played a part.

But in the end, the biggest reason why I haven’t been writing on my Blues Book (Hopefully) site is that my site is uglier than sh**.

The older I get, the more I realize I’m affected by ambiance:  styles, color, food, the weather. I’m dehydrated most days because I choose to drink pop when I should be drinking water. I’m comfort eating while I adjust to the decreased levels of stress. I spent quite a bit of my last paycheck to make sure I get the most out of the music I hear because for the first time in 4 years, the music stirs me.

And now, I can choose to write again.

And I want people to enjoy the experience.

Much like how the feel of a book and its pages attribute to the experience of reading a book, the look and feel of a website helps contribute to how often people visit a website and whether or not they return.

It’s called User Experience. It’s commonplace in user interaction. Google SEO Webspam team leader Matt Cutts often answers that the best thing one can do to improve their SEO is to write engaging content people will want to link to. Reading Julius Caesar on a classic booklet bound and publish in 1906 is much more appealing than reading it on a sh*ty airport paperback. Even down to the musty smell. And despite oppressing state laws, the smokey, sweating haze of a blues club sets the mood and makes even weak blues playing sound that much better.

By the way, I’d let you borrow one of my classic hardbound Shakespeare booklets if you’d want – for a price.

How else does night club music work? You really think it’s the depth of artistry?

What website style makes for great user experience?

Yeah, it’s a case of “Beauty’s in the Eye of the Beholder.” It depends on interest. We’ve been having the discussion at work. Usually, a simple clean site that doesn’t upstage the content will work. If the styling, fonts, and imagery interrupt the users ability to receive the website owner’s message, than you fail yourself as much as anything.

Examples of good website user experience

Examples of bad website user experience

  • Post Tribune (here’s a hint:  cross-browser test! You can contact me for the other many, numerous hints)
  • Chicago Tribune sports (Why is newspaper website design is behind???)
  • Google

Google? The #1 search engine in the world? Bad Website user Navigation?

Yeah, i said it. For all the tools you can find from your Google account, you’d sh** if you’d learn how many more applications and tools you can’t find via standard navigation. And it’s worse if you don’t sign in.

Not that they’re suffering.

What I am doing about the Book of Blues (Hopefully) Website User Experience

It’s good to know the head of graphics at Golden Technologies. He’s designed my current custom Twitter background and, when things hit the summer slowdown, will translate the art onto this site.

What do you think of the background? Do you think it’ll make for a prettier site?

And once the site does its part, I’ll have to do the rest.

(photo credit:  Maki Ontwerp via Flickr)

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