Ugly Websites That Work

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I've seen a lot of articles lately about why ugly sites are getting so much traffic. Some of these sites include Craig’s List and Plenty of Fish. These sites aren't attractive, but they are getting traffic, why is that?

Sites like Craig’s list are not design heavy at all. In fact it looks like they took the design budget and threw it out the window.

The fact is it’s easy, easy to use, easy to navigate, and easy to get out. At the end of the day it’s all about usability. These sites get the repeat traffic because they are easy to use. Users can become comfortable with a layout of a site. People use what works for them.

Can we meet in the middle?

It is our job as designers to make a content rich site look easy to use and navigate. Unfortunately some designers care more about the design elements instead of the purpose of the site. There is no reason why Craig’s List has to look like it was built with early 90’s HTML. Of course you could never convince them to change it since you don’t fix what ain’t broke. If future designers can take a piece of the usability pie and incorporate in some elegant design then it could be a match made in heaven.

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