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Here's a post-worth-reading from 37signals about making memorable (Web site) designs.
06:00 AM in Winery Web Sites | Permalink
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Why not both? A good looking site that does its main job: helps you sell wine.
The lead designer didn't leave Google because he didn't like the data driven nature of their process, he left because he didn't think they applied it correctly. He wanted his intuition an experience to have some weight as well. When you test for things as granular as the width of a border, or the opacity and spread of a drop shadow, you need two things to be true:
1. A lot of traffic
2. A lot of time to do the tests.
Google had both, and good for them.
Typically winery websites have neither. So, better to put your best practices together with a solid design by a trusted designer and, if you have the time and the traffic, test a couple major elements via A/B slit testing and evolve it from there.
But you know what, only Constellation owned brands (and then only a fraction of those) will ever go through the trouble. I know of a very large privately owned winery that didn't bother to track the results from its recent online promotion. You think anyone is bothering to A/B split their sign up link? :-p
Love your recent run of posts Mike!
March 30, 2009 at 02:26 PM
I agree with Josh, why not have both?
I think it depends on your market as well. If you're looking to sell to high end clients, you probably would want to make a website that is aesthetically pleasing. Creating a website that is visually pleasing may also add security to your user that your website is legitimate.
April 20, 2009 at 04:27 PM
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