Seth Godin is one of my all time favourite authors.
Tribes and Permission Marketing left a huge impression on me and helped me shape the service offering we developed in the early days at Tango. I've been looking back at one of his early books, The Big Red Fez: How To Make Any Web Site Better, and its amazing to see to the problems he identified back then are still alive and kicking today. A lot of digital is developed for either form or function, and not enough is created with clear objectives and consumers in mind.
Seth recently commented about this on his blog...I also really like the statement on his website - "go make something happen".
Q&A: What works for websites today?
By Seth Godin | July 29, 2013
Approximately a million web years ago, I wrote a book about web design. The Big Red Fez was an exercise in shooting fish in a barrel. There was a vast and deep inventory of bad websites, sites that were not just unattractive, but ineffective as well.
The thesis of the book is that the web is a direct marketing medium, something that can be measured and a tool that works best when the person who builds the page has a point of view. Instead of a committee deciding everything that ought to be on the page and compromising at every step, an effective website is created by someone who knows what she wants the user to do.
Josh Davis and others wanted to know if, after more than a decade, my opinion has changed. After all, we now have video, social networks, high-speed connections, mobile devices...
If anything, the quantity of bad sites has increased, and the urgency of the problem has increased as well. As the web has become more important, there's ever more pressure to have meetings, to obey the committee and to avoid alienating any person who visits (at the expense of delighting the many, or at least, the people you care about).
Without a doubt, there are far more complex elements to be worked with, more virality, more leverage available to anyone brave enough to build something online. But I stand with a series of questions that will expose the challenges of any website (and the problems of the organization that built it):
- Who is this site for?
- How did they find out about it?
- What does the design remind them of?
- What do you want them to do when they get here?
- How will they decide to do that, and what promises do you make to cause that action?
Read the full article here sethgodin.typepad.com