[thelist] site check - http://www.magisnetworks.com/new2002/index.html

Robert Goodyear rob_goodyear at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 10 23:38:19 CST 2001

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

> 2. Look and feel - according to the CEO/CTO/BOD the existing
> site is
> 'sissy.' Note that the new site uses exactly the same colors
> and open, airy
> feel, so I don't think we've addressed that issue yet. Ideas?
> What colors
> are less fluffy and sensitive, but would work with the logo
> colors (oh look;
> the site USES the logo colors - CEO/CTO/BOD don't like the logo
> either, but
> maybe it could be hidden in a robust, manly site?)

This item scares the h*ll out of me. I notice a conspicuous
absence of Chief Marketing Officer or Marketing Director or
_something_ in the CxO titles you mention whom "...think the site
is sissy..." 

Why does this scare me? Let's look at it from the opposite
perspective: if Magis were on the drawing board with a new
broadband chip, they would _never_ have the Marketing Officer
calling the shots, would they? Now, some input from the CMO would
be welcomed from an end-user/integrator/vendor requirements
standpoint, but these things would have already been incorporated
by the Product Development team, right? The CMO wouldn't come in,
look at the schematics and say "man, that signal path looks
really inefficient... let's get something more streamlined going
on there." The Engineers, Product Developers and Project Managers
would probably toss him out and take away his cardkey.

My point is that different experts do different things. Your
executive team should work in collaboration with your marketing
team to do some real discovery of what your target (Consumers?
VARs? Hardware Mfg?) demographic and psychographic is really
shaped like. Does the CTO understand the subtleties of color and
shape and how they subconsciously affect the value proposition of
the product and company? Usually not. Just like how a Marketing
manager doesn't usually know about chip fab specifics. While each
must be conversant in the other's discipline, they have titles
for a reason: to denote domain expertise.

Looking at the existing website, a designer obviously built the
corporate identity and integrated the site design around it in a
consistent manner. This can't be the first time the executive
team has noticed their identity. Did the designer present the
corporate id with a rational defense? There was a specific reason
he/she proposed the lowercase workmark, pastel pallette, and
consumer-friendly photography in the first place, and obviously
it resonated well with the executive team at least *once*. So
what's changed? Did they see a competitor's site that was in red
and black with an ALL CAPS wordmark logo -- embossed in brushed
aluminum? What's driving the 'sissy' reaction?

These aren't rhetorical statements, either... I'd really LOVE to
know what is motivating your bosses in re their comments.
[thelist] is beneficial not only for site critique of work we're
all building, but also to discover what prompts a redesign in its
early stages... so we can all do a better job of hitting the nail
on the head *before* shredding it in critique.



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