Kevin Wessa
July 4, 2019
Insights

Independence from boring websites

You're human (stop reading this Google robots).

You get tired. You get hungry. You get bored.

If you're bored with your website or your branding, there is a pretty good chance everyone is bored with your website or branding.

You hate boring websites. We hate boring websites. Google hates boring websites and its ever present, ever learning algorithm will seek to serve you only the websites that answer your questions, that appeal to your time, and connect you further into the World Wide Web.

You're not being graded, and you don't have to look further than your experience to confirm if this is true or not.

Some might ask, how can you tell if a website is boring? 

It all looks the...same?

#1 - The website is not unique

With 7.7 billion people alive on earth, 3.9 billion of them with internet access, and 1.94 billion websites to peruse for funny cat pics, it's safe to say your website likely won't stand out. THIS website likely won't stand out. If you're one of the 1 billion people reading this post, thank you! Our goal is to hit 2 billion before 2025 (tell your friends, your parents, your close relatives, your distant relatives, your close relatives you wish were distant relatives, your baristas, and your landlords please and thank you).

24 hours in a day and 6 foot deep caskets unite us all. With a world growing increasingly more connected by the day, a website that is unique, easy to navigate, and relevant to our lives is refreshing.

The website is a template

This problem likely didn't exist in the past to the same degree as it does now. At the advent of the internet age, templating anything was not possible to the degree it is now. The everyday person 15 years ago did not feel they needed to have a website.

Things are different now.

Now, Squarespace, Wix, GoDaddy, and Weebly all make it seem like everyone both can and should have a website. Their templates allow anyone, with any level of industry knowledge, to spin up a website, connect a domain, and distribute information in the span of only a few hours.

Users can tell when they've seen the same thing over and over again.

Users can tell when they've seen the same thing over and over again.

Users can tell when they've seen the same thing over and over again.

They get bored and they leave.

The website is trying to hard

A counter to the template approach is trying way too hard.

Why would this be boring? Putting powerful design tools in the hands of everyone leads to some very odd results. People ignore consistent typography, animate everything, and make an explosion of color on every page. In an attempt to stand out, they bore people. Over designing is just as much a problem as being a carbon copy of everyone else.

For example, Myspace brought high school bands to the internet. It also brought aspiring designers.

Ah, memories. Hopefully therapist approved, past tense and distant ones.

The solution is humility

Humility is being who you are. No more. No less.

Users are bored with people doing the same thing as everyone else as much as they are with people overcompensating.

Design is not color palettes alone. Design is not typography alone. Design is not photography alone.

No solas here.

Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, “Make it look good!” That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

- Steve Jobs

Great design lies in the coherent revelation of who you are, and how you will help the user. As many websites as I've seen, when the designer captures that essence, it's never boring.

#2 - The website is not relevant.

The advent of the internet was an explosion of information on the world stage. The things we wanted to know no longer was impss

With 7.7 billion people alive on earth, 3.9 billion of them with internet access, and 1.94 billion websites to peruse for funny cat pics, it's safe to say your website likely won't stand out. THIS website likely won't stand out. If you're one of the 1 billion people reading this post, thank you! Our goal is to hit 2 billion before 2025 (tell your friends, your parents, your close relatives, your distant relatives, your close relatives you wish were distant relatives, your baristas, and your landlords please and thank you).

24 hours in a day and 6 foot deep caskets unite us all. With a world growing increasingly more connected by the day, a website that is unique, easy to navigate, and relevant to our lives is refreshing.

Is the website relevant? 

If you're looking for something online, why would you want to be handed something else. Jesus said it best, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?" (Matthew 7:9-10)

Lots of people google "fish" and end up with a snake after the TTFB connects.

How frustrating is that?

It is beyond frustrating. You approach the gods of Google with a specific question (why should I floss, why does my breath smell bad, why are my teeth loose, how much do dentures cost) and you are greeted with the dentist's best attempt at freelance web development. Whilst avoiding a more professional appropriate hobby (like whittling), he created a website that failed to answer the questions you were seeking answers to.

You, the user, get bored with website because the website failed to answer the question you asked.

#3. The website is not user-friendly.

We recognize the need for speciality in our modern world (good call Adam Smith).

Not everyone should be a brain surgeon.

Not everyone should build spaceships.

Not everyone should own a chainsaw and a truck.

NOT EVERYONE SHOULD DESIGN THEIR OWN WEBSITE.

Ahem...sorry. This reeks of vested interest over here.

The most important principle of web development is that it is not about you, it is about your user. Dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening, design a website like everyone can see it anywhere in the world, any hour of the day. Every website must serve the user, no matter where they are coming from, no matter their question, no matter their browser preference (insert Internet Explorer web developer laugh track here).

Websites MUST be intuitive, simple, easy to use. Avoid this advice at your own peril.