all is well
25 November 2015

not today you don't...?
18 November 2015

glue the skids
13 November 2015

So you've done your research. You've found that obscure piece of gear or ridiculous tchotchke that you simply MUST have. You find the one place that can totally help you self-actualize your commercial acquis -- yeah. Ok. You're just on a web site. The one with that thing you like.

And the site is a total piece of....charming. IT'S ARTISANAL! (but really it's just amateur). It's hard to use. You don't know what's going on EVERYTHING IS BLINKING WHY IS IT YELLOW. Sometimes, it's hard to order. When this happens to me, every part of my being screams out (pancreas included) "I CAN FIX THAT FOR YOU".

But sometimes that crufty web site is well-suited to it's purpose. (I am so getting my web developer union card revoked).

A poorly designed or clumsily executed site can serve as a brake to sales. It's like a governor on a truck. It can keep mayhem off the highways and Tracy Morgan out of the hospital (too soon...?). It also keeps a small cottage business from being completely overwhelmed and risking a hard-earned reputation for quality and great customer service.

Come to think of it, a great web site can act as a crutch for those who aren't willing to put the time and effort into providing a great shopping experience. Technology isn't everything (yes, I gasped there too). Not everyone can build an effective web site, even (especially) with tools that claim to do everything for you with just a few clicks. They just want to have something to point to...anything, really. So an app spits out tables and columns and what is image23_v2.jpg again? and WHY IS IT WEIRD just don't think about it just hope for the best.

Despite itself, it works. Kind of. But enough to keep the sole proprietor as busy as they want to be. As long as they don't want to make changes. And it's easier to just call ON THE PHONE EVEN because putting a new page on the site is traumatic.

See what happened? They've won a customer the old fashioned way, by working around the site's limitations (or they really wanted coffee).

I'm still sure I can make it all better, though (sorry, Tracy).

the bearing tree
10 November 2015