Beware the beautiful website that doesn’t work

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.
- Leo Tolstoy

Had a prospect come and meet me today. He’s got a website that’s been up not that long – and, of course, spent all his web marketing budget on it.

It’s a nice looking site – great graphics, banner, logo and clear colourful photography that shows off his products splendidly. It’s even got clever Ajax sliding things that reveal items within different product categories. From a superficial look you’d think – lovely website.

Just has one small problem – it was supposed to generate online orders – but there haven’t been any.

When you look a bit closer it all becomes clear.

Firstly, it’s a product-centric website – all about the products. There are three delivery channels serving quite disparate needs and audiences except it’s not obvious. And, none of the audiences  are properly catered for. Why? Because the thinking that went into the site came from the products.

It was only on about my fourth visit to the site that I saw the button in the top right corner alerting me to an important offering – strange placement, but it didn’t really matter as there was no extra information once I clicked anyway.

My potential new customer has a pretty but useless website – and we now have to work out how to get the heavy lifting done on a shoestring.

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