Don't Miss a Thing
Free Updates by Email

Enter your email address


preview  |  powered by FeedBlitz

RSS Feeds

Share |

Facebook: Seth's Facebook
Twitter: @thisissethsblog

Search

Google


WWW SETH'S BLOG

SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

ONLINE:

IN STORES:


THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




All Marketers Are Liars Blog




Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 08/2003

« What you're up against | Main | How to create a great website »

How to create a good enough website

For most people, that's all you need. A website that's good enough. Not that breaks new ground, establishes a new identity, discovers new ways for people to interact online. Just a good enough website that didn't kill you to launch.

To be clear, the following advice assumes that:

  • You're not trying to reinvent the idea of a web page--that the page is a means to an end
  • You work with other people

So, here's what you do. First, realize that traditionally, the job of designer has been linked with the job of programmer. There were very good reasons for this. Designing a page that can't work is silly, and changing the design every time you change the way the page works can be time consuming and expensive.

As a result, web design became a sacred art, one done only by the blessed few, in caverns far away from where mortals tread. In addition, it became expensive, because design changes (which marketers love to make) got in the same queue as programming changes.

We need to start by divorcing the two practices. There's no longer a really good reason for the two to be so closely linked, especially since disciplined use of CSS and testing pays such dividends.

Start with design. Don't involve the programming team until you're 90% done with the look and feel of your pages. It's cheap to change design if it can't by supported by programming, and cheaper and faster to have design done in Photoshop before you commit to cutting it up and coding it.

I'm going to go out on a limb and beg you not to create an original design. There are more than a billion pages on the web. Surely there's one that you can start with? If your organization can't find a website that you all agree can serve as a model, you need to stop right now and find a new job.

Not a site to rip-off, but an inspiration. Fonts and colors and layout. The line spacing. The interactions. Why not? Your car isn't unique, and your house might not be either. If you've got a site that sells 42 kinds of wrapping paper, why not start by finding a successful site that sells... I don't know, shoes or yo-yo's... something that both appeals to your target audience and has been tested and tweaked and works. No, don't pick a competitor. That will get you busted. Pick a reasonably small but successful site in a totally different line of work. Say to your designer: "That's our starting point. Don't change any important design element without asking me first. Now, pull in our products, our logo and our company color scheme and let's take a look at it."

At this point, some people are aghast! Shouldn't the web be a design contest on top of everything else? I don't think so.

Now, take your finished Photoshop pages and get every single person who can possibly veto your project to say okay. THEN give it to engineering to make it work.

[Boy, am I in trouble. People hate posts like this one. They read all sorts of things into it that I don't intend. I'm certainly not against bespoke design, or designers. I certainly don't believe that all engineers are bad designers or even difficult to deal with. The point of the post is most definitely not to encourage you to commit copyright violations or even ethical ones. It merely works to recognize two things:

1. If you are unable to agree on an existing site, you are sure going to spend a lot of time and money trying to agree on a custom one.

2. The process of design and user interaction is best done separately from the process of server speed, database structure and uptime.

Forgive me!]

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b31569e200e54f08ef348834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How to create a good enough website:

» Its not a contest, its about purpose. from Heroes of eBusiness
This mornings post by Seth Godin was right on target. Thankfully, the way he describes producing sites (design first, then off to the programmers) is exactly how World Wide Web Communications has been doing it for 12 years now. But I think that ... [Read More]

» The Process of Web / Blog Design from Business Services, ETC - A Virtual Assistance Company
In the past few months, I have designed over forty or so blog and web sites.  I love the process - the creativity that flows, the feeling of working toward an end and matching the clients vision to the outcome flawlessly.  Its fun and b... [Read More]

» Web design made simple from Pencilmarks
Web design is a simple process. Over the years the concept of a web page has been pretty well defined. It looks a certain way, based on one of a few basic forms. Nothing ever really begins from scratch. Seth... [Read More]

» The agile web site launch from The CLM Blog
When did the web site design process become a roadblock to launching a site, rather than helping it along? When did the details of site design and function become a site owner obsession, more important than becoming visible, more compelling than gettin... [Read More]

» Small Business: Be Large (or at least appearlarge) from a la 360
One of the basic Mountain Lion Safety rules (and if you hike in the Bay Area you want to be familiar with the rules) is DO ALL YOU CAN TO APPEAR LARGER. This is a great rule for small businesses as well, as they try to stand out. Appearing to be big pu... [Read More]

» Aside: Contrarian Website Design with Marketing Guru Seth Godin from The GoodBarry Blog
Seth Godin has written an interesting post today about creating web sites. I recommend that you read it. In fact, I recommend Seth's blog full stop, for anyone running a business. Back to this particular post - I don't necessarily agree with Seth ... [Read More]

» Be Careful what you put in a Template from Bokardo - Social Design by Joshua Porter
Seth Godin says that people are going to hate his post How to create a good enough website. I dont hate it, but I do have a word of caution for what Seth is advocating. Seth says: Im going to go out on a limb and beg you not to cr... [Read More]

» More than pretty pictures, less than rocket science from DesignWalk
Seth Godin blogged yesterday on creating a good web site, and today on creating a great web site (and here I vowed not to mention Seths blog more than once a week, but its too darned good). Too many designers I have worked with take a ... [Read More]

» Is Original Web Design a Dying Art? from Loosely Speaking—A Virtual Assistant's Blog
Im slotted as a guest speaker for class of college of students enrolled in a web design course today, and in preparation I found myself listing all the ways the process has changed since I built my first site back in 1994. With all the options ... [Read More]

» Creating a Good Website from Park East - The Blog
Seth Godin has done it again with this post about Creating a good enough website. He is so on top of the game! He doesnt even create websites but the way he advises others to go about it is like hes been doing it for years! ... [Read More]

» This Week In SEO - 10/12/07 from TheVanBlog
Bear with me as I dedicate another This Week In SEO post to the baseball playoffs. Were down to four teams and by next week we should know wholl be playing in the World Series. Hope you dont mind a little more baseball talk until ... [Read More]

» Web Design from The Cart Blog
Seth Godin describes how to create a good website and a great one - and emphasizes that almost everyone would be better off settling for simply good. ... [Read More]

» links for 2007-10-19 from 気になる記事の書き出し帳
MIAU : MIAU 設立発表会講演録(1) (tags: co... [Read More]

» Seth Godin: On Creating A Good Enough Website from AbleBrains
Seth wrote a post on designing web sites in which he says,I'm going to go out on a limb and beg you not to create an original design. There are more than a billion pages on the web. Surely there's [Read More]

« What you're up against | Main | How to create a great website »