You’ve heard the term ‘less is more’, and it’s a phrase that can definitely ring true in a lot of cases. Apply it to the subject of design and re-name it something like ‘uglier is better’―is it still a valid point? Scoble seems to think so. Read his entry before reading on, if you haven’t already.
What’s the secret to his success? Ugly design. I call it “anti-marketing design.”
I think he’s overvaluing the importance of the design in this case. Plentyoffish.com owes its success to a number of things, other than “anti-marketing”: a matter of great SEO; the fact that it’s a free service; and possibly―I haven’t gone much further than the frontpage―the fact that the service is of high quality. I understand how they don’t want it looking too corporate to scare off potential users, but that doesn’t mean the images need to be shoddy 3kb gifs, the fonts rubbish and the general look of it taking the viewer back to the mid-90s. Those kind of incremental changes CANNOT do the site harm, can they?
If I was looking for a dating service, chances are I’d go elsewhere because of the shitty, amateurish design. My first thoughts are that it’s half-arsed site without a whole lot value, and that its developers must be of the rather non-savvy, flinchingly ingorant kind. Would-be internet moguls that don’t really know what they’re doing and haven’t put much heart innit. Of course, having spent delicate chunks of time on the internet over the years, I’ve become overly critical, narrow-minded and fickle, and would thus never delve any further than the frontpage.
The name ‘Plenty of Fish’ just adds to the ludicrousy. Hadn’t I first found out about the site via the discussion on Scoble’s blog I would’ve presumably never delved deeper than a few pages, nevermind registering.
So what’s up with this? Assumably, this guy makes more than $10,000 a day on this site―on Google ads alone.
Francois Pichet posts an interesting comment:
I browsed http://www.plentyoffish.com for about 10 mins and twice I accidentally clicked on a google ads. Maybe that’s the secret. Design your site so that people will inadvertanly click on ads.
Clever or out of line?
I dunno. This has me floored, anyway. Bloody interesting discussion though―read through the comments on Scobleizer.