Thursday, December 19, 2013

GUI Advice from Seth Godin

"Digital metaphor is the enemy of progress," Seth Godin tells us. In fact, Godin devotes a chapter in his book "The Big Red Fez - How to make any web site better" to discouraging website designers from introducing digital metaphors into their website designs.

Make it simple for prospects and customers to navigate your website, Godin urges. Don't give them puzzles to solve, or metaphors to figure out.

This is strange advice, I might point out, from an author who uses monkey, banana, and pachinko machine metaphors at the heart of his "The Big Red Fez" book.

Perhaps better advice for website designers might be to capitalize on the metaphors that are widely accepted on the web such as shopping cart images, RSS-feed symbols, and cloud icons. People understand what these concepts mean, and it would be counterproductive to introduce new metaphors when intuitive metaphors are already part of the Internet culture.

My advice would be to avoid any wording, images, or metaphors that detract from the sales process. Entertaining your website visitors is a secondary goal. Concentrate on delivering a clear, easy-to-understand sales message about the benefits of your software applications.

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