I recently described what I do as “OXO is to kitchen utensils as I am to Websites.” Oxo has awesome designs. Check out their description of universal design. I love their stuff. They are fun to use and make me feel like the product cares about me as a human being. Even if its just a carrot shredder.
On the web, this meas, BIG buttons. It means no (or very little) instructions. It means that everything is obvious.
Of course, this is hard when you don’t have time to develop the right design. I do the best I can given the resources and deadlines. As long as it is better than it was, I feel I did a good job. Microsoft said something similar about their mission statement for Internet Explorer. The speaker was Chris Wilson. (What’s the deal with the cat?) He said the mission was “Leave the Web better than you found it”.
I feel that is my mission as well. A bigger dream is to leave the World better than you found it. Maybe I am overshooting.
Speaking of “better than you found it”… I helped improve Intuit.com last year. It was good. It had major improvements and statistical confidence in the improvements. This was my version. Now look at the current version. What the heck did they do??? Now it’s got way too many tabs, and the major brands (turbotax, quicken, quickbooks) are all gone. I heard they can’t even test anymore because the analytics software stopped working. The site is not better than how they found it. It’s worse. Not OXO at all.
Hmm, it looks like http://www.oxo.com was not designed by OXO designers. They missed a HUGE opportunity to convey the brand in their website. Giant buttons, big black handles. That’s a shame.