Nov 27 2012

I need to vent about shitty websites

  • Posted by: admin

If the internet is the city of Chicago and it’s many establishments are websites, and tons of potential consumers are buzzing around on a daily basis, your first goal as a business is to attract people, right? No matter how awesome your product or service is, first impressions are everything. As a company owner, shouldn’t making your website awesome be one of your first priorities, just as business owners take pride in their storefronts? Don’t be The Waffle House when you could be Ann Sather.

Recently I’ve been doing research on startups across the country which has required me to sift through hundreds of companies. There’s nothing that annoys me more than coming across a shitty website, which, to my dismay, happens more than I could have imagined. In the event that I need to actually get information from a shitty website, I try my hardest to find what I need and get going. If it’s too difficult, it gets thrown into the “companies who we should never need information from” pile. The same thing will happen with customers.

If you’re reading this wondering if your website is shitty, then it probably is. Here’s how to revamp:

  • Make sure you’re easy to find. Hire a company to help you with SEO if you don’t know how. If consumers have to look longer than 5 minutes to find you, you’re doing something wrong.
  • What do you do? Make sure you message is clear. Put your elevator pitch in bold, save the details for when you’ve got the customer’s attention.
  • Are you a new company about to launch? Create a landing page with a sign-up feature to bring in potential customers.
  • Be aesthetically pleasing. For startups with tons of competition, good design will put you ahead of the rest. Take time to look into your demographic and design your site FOR THEM. Whether this is through color, visuals, your tone of voice, whatever.. make sure your website is targeted to the people your product targets. For more on emotional design, check out Christina Brodbeck’s presentation from MorningStar and Built In Chicago’s recent design conference here. 
  • Focus on the user’s experience. This is one of the biggest annoyance’s I’ve had with websites. There are so many great sites who’ve done everything correctly, aside from the most important thing: being easy to navigate! Make your social sharing easy to find, located at the top of your page, maybe even get crazy and put it in bold? Social Media is how people more info about your company and is an awesome tool. If you took the time to create a Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, etc., why put it at the very bottom of your site next to the stuff nobody reads? Your company’s terms & conditions, copyright info, etc. aren’t as important to a user as your social links – stop making it seem like they are. Also, a simple icon is fine, everybody knows what Facebook is; no need to tell people to “Make sure to follow us on the popular social media site created by Mark Zuckerberg known as Facebook.” Obviously there are exceptions to everything; some sites can pull off things other’s can’t, just make sure you’re pulling it off. Oh, and if you don’t have any social media networks, get with it..


Not pretty:

Why sooo small?

Annoying (but somehow has 3.3K likes so maybe it’s just me):



Informative, but I’m into it:




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