Softlaunchtm

This is the unofficial pre-soft launch of yet another useless website. The beauty of this site: no ads, no 80 link nav, no 70 column layouts taken straight from print design. Who are these people kidding? The web has been around 9 years and we still are cramming more and more onto a page. I’m saying nothing new. I know. But as a designer with clients, it starts one client at a time. One client to realize that it’s not about cramming every single option above the “fold”. My screen doesn’t fold yet. And I hope it never does.

Recently, I had a client do an exercise. I decided that my findings were so clear and compelling that I should share it. Here it is: pick two system software companies and visit their homepages. For the client, I suggested the arch-rivals Apple and Microsoft. Then I suggested two search engines; Google and Yahoo. Look at these companies based only on their websites, then ask the question, which makes it easy to find information? Other questions arise. Which companies, based on their websites, would you rather use? Which understand the concept of brand? Which company understands why people are visiting their site? Why are these questions important?

These sites have drastically different approaches and are clearly tailored to different types of people. Yahoo now uses Google. Google’s brand is about the power behind the search box. That shows brilliantly on the Google homepage. I think it’s time that designers, user interface specialists, information architects and their clients realize the pain of merely searching through 50 links on a homepage. It’s time to revisit the beauty of simplicity.