I just read a great post from Eric Qualman on ClickZ (and if you are not getting emails from ClickZ, I highly recommend them – I find that I forward ClickZ stories more than any others). The post – Steve Jobs: 10 Lessons in Leadership – has a few points that you can really carry over to your website design and marketing:
“Jobs indicates “that’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.'”
There is a lot of truth to the saying “less is more”. Think about a few features that really complement your website – things that will build engagement, make your site “sticky” (keeping visitors on your site longer). A few photos to accent the page. A central focus and direction for visitors. Eliminate unnecessary design elements. Avoid ending up like this.
Also, make sure the important content fits into the first screen. Don’t assume that people will scroll down to look for more information.
It’s not What You Say; It’s How You Say It
Qualman notes, “Perception becomes reality. Part of Jobs’ success was based on the notion that ‘Your customers dream of a happier and better life. Don’t move products. Instead, enrich lives.'”
When people at a company get together to create a website, they suddenly stop thinking like users. That is when the front page of the website ends up dominated by a mission statement or photos of the staff. The website is not here to glorify you, it is here to be useful to visitors.
Shun the Majority
Qulaman notes: “Jobs epitomized the mantra of ‘if the majority was always right, then we’d all be rich.’ Like Henry Ford before him who indicated ‘If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would say a faster horse,’ Jobs typically eschewed focus groups and gave the public what he thought they needed. This worked the majority of the time, and when it didn’t, it was a chance for him to fail forward into the next project, taking the lessons with him.
‘Here’s to the crazy one, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes…because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.’ – Steve Jobs “