When It’s Empty, The Comments Fill Up

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Some of the talk last month in site redesigns came from the big switch over at Odeo. At the time, I looked at the site, went, “Eh, there it is,” disinterested largely because I’m not such a huge fan of this podcasting stuff. But now, looking back at it, and the couple of big name sites who were talking it up, the discussion is a lot more interesting than the change itself. What made it extra interesting was that two of the biggies, 37signals and 9rules, couldn’t have disagreed more on the site. Here’s a snippet of what 9rules had to say (this section is about the signup page):

The look alone makes me feel like I am signing up for some children’s website and this is coming from someone whose company’s homepage could’ve been designed by Fisher-Price. Maybe I am expecting to know what I am signing up for. Just a little paragraph to justify or reassure me. Also, all those big fonts just give me an uneasy feeling. They aren’t easier to read to me because each one is fighting for sight attention. I just get drawn to everything all at once and therefore can’t concentrate on one thing ever.

Here’s what 37signals said about it: ” I think this is a wise direction — design-wise and concept strategy-wise. Well done.” With that, I’m not making a comment in favor of one over another, I just like the idea that both sites, who strongly believe in the less-is-more school of design, felt different things about the less-is-more approach that Odeo took. Neat that blank space can look different to different people.