Site design: what do you optimize for?

I followed a link to Vox today. I vaguely remembered the service from seeing it months and months ago, but I had no clue what it was actually about.

“Vox,” of course, is sort of a clue … but “voice” could be a lot of things. So I scanned.

  • Welcome … to what?
  • Explore … what?
  • Sign in … to what?
  • Get an invitation … to what?

Finally, down on the right side, in smaller print: “What is vox? It’s a new blogging tool that’s about sharing and creating.”

OK. Thanks.

Note: this is not necessarily bad site design, or information architecture. It’s just not optimized for newbies.

When you design a site, you can optimize for new members (and potentially tick off old ones) or optimize for old members (and possibly never get any more new ones). Or you can go somewhere in between.

It’s your choice. But you had better make that choice intentionally.

[tags] vox, design, information architecture, usability, john koetsier [/tags]