Just read this story on BBC News —
“…sites peppered with personalisation tools were in danger of resembling the “glossy but useless” sites at the height of the dotcom boom.. only a small number of users are likely to make significant use of all the tools a site provides.”
I wonder what the culture of geeks and web designers working at web start ups is like? Are they so caught up in their own sub-culture that they completely miss their main audience?
When Markus Frind first started talking about his free dating site PlentyofFish.com, a lot of people thought it was a joke. People spend years in school to learn design and here Markus had created a very basic looking site that has become a behemoth in the online dating world.
The fact is your audience should understand your site immediately on their first visit! Internet users visit hundreds or thousands of different web sites. Your visitors get pissed off when they can’t understand how to make you site work. Millions of dollars are being blown on VC funding because most developers are blind to this.
Want to know more? I recommend you check out one of my older posts — Why Ugly sites are actually designed well.