When you’ve been in business for 15 years like we have, you tend to realize that you have to be ruthless.
Ruthlessly pruning and simplifying.
Taking out what’s NOT needed.
Removing all the unnecessary stuff.
One of the ways we apply this can be seen in our budget website system – the Redbox Easyweb.
Unlike other website systems with lots of buttons and features and stuff (designed by people who just love putting more and more features into a system), we are bent on removing buttons and features.
You see, the people who buy Redbox Easyweb are people who have no freaking idea about HTML or any of the codes that go into creating or building a website.
All they want is a simple website which does not scare them the moment they log in to the backend.
(Which is why designing a simple website is the toughest thing to do. Even if you buy our Dragon Mojo Website Package at RM15,950. Because we research, find, interview, dig and after all that’s done, we have to sit down to decide what stuff NOT to put on the website.
It’s easy to chuck everything (photos, text etc.) into a website.
That is why you get “rojak” websites which give you a headache. “Rojak” websites simply mean that all the stuff you have is now piled into your website and there’s no curation. You are not offering the best of the best to your website visitors.
In a way, our work is of the researcher-communicator-curator. We curate the best of our clients after talking to them for hours and hours. We then find the best way to write up these stories (eliminating all the good but not good enough stuff) and find the proper places for this “distillation” on their websites.)
So we’ve ruthlessly pruned all the unneeded buttons so that the backend dashboard does not frighten anyone, not even people who swear they are totally illiterate in technology.
That’s why we say, anyone can use Redbox Easyweb to start their first website.
Simplicity, then is a mindset.
When you start with a mindset of simplicity, you are able to make things better. That’s how the iPhone ended up with only one button, right?
That’s why Google doesn’t clutter up its page with anything other than its search box.
If you want to know why, compare the Google homepage to Yahoo’s. Is there any wonder you are still using Google (or that “google it” has become a verb)? It’s so prevalent that my friend’s 8 year old daughter often remarks “Mum, just google it” whenever they’re stumped by a question or a tough piece of homework.
“The challenge is knowing what to kill and what to keep–what’s essential and what isn’t. Companies can and should rely on consumers to help them figure that out through research, though it’s important to note that the customer isn’t always right about this, as Google has shown. People have a tendency to want “more” even if it’s not necessarily good for them. And marketers have a tendency to offer them “more” in order to make the easy sale”, says Alan Siegel in this Google article.
But having less buttons does not mean getting less value.
When you buy a Redbox Easyweb, you get a tonne of value – from the free how-to guides on Search Engine Optimization, Website Content to Marketing to the free tutorials and help. You get all the things you need to get you started.
Often we explain to clients that you need a website to help you market better. You don’t need to choose from 397 templates. You don’t need to play around with stuff that won’t make you money.
What makes you money is your content.
Now that is something most web designers will never know.
They’re going to go on and on about the 276th feature of their DIY website or website builder, not realizing that if they only spoke to their customers, they’d realize the customers may not even want that feature.
And customers who tell you they want those features may never even get around to using the features!
The customer is you and me.
And all we want is to stop being afraid of technology (we won’t tell you upfront but you can see fear written all over our faces) and to have an easier, simpler way to do the things we need to do.
This includes using our iPhone, using Google and creating our first website.