While there are plenty of businesses that dont seem to understand
that the web can do amazing things for them, there are some cases where
an entire industry seems to not understand the full potential of the
web. I use the word industry loosely. Heres my list.
have yet to visit any real estate related web site that had a
worthwhile experience. Theres no doubt they recognize the value of the
web, but as an industry, I dont believe they understand what it could be. Having tried to deal with the MLS and its partners in the past, I place almost all of the blame on them.
Lofts & Condos
I hit on this already in Design for Designs Sake.
Instead of offering floor plans and details that are easy to send to
friends, bookmark, or compare, every single web site Ive visited that
is trying to sell lofts or condos is bottom of the barrel bad. Instead
of being useful, they feel like somebody thought that the more flash,
cooler they would be. In my opinion, this is more evidence that the
real estate industry doesnt have a clue about the real potential.
Rent.net. They all seem to care more about advertising than listings.
They offer limited search capabilities and dont emphasize the factors
people care about such as price or square footage. The goal of these
sites should be search first. Imagine if Google obscured the search
results and filled the page with ads.
This one has already been done over at 43 Folders. Right on the mark.
Software and Open Source
one is coming around, but the number of open source applications and
products that have a confusing web presence is staggering. I cant
count the number of times Ive read about a cool application but
couldnt figure out how or where to download it because the site was
built with no regard to the visitors. Many dont even offer
screenshots. I may not be a smart man, but I know that people want
screenshots of software and applications.
They sell food, but rarely have an easy
way to view the full menu with prices online easy being the key
word. Im not even going to ask for pictures of the food. As an
industry, this seems to be improving, but how long does it take a
business to figure out that people want to see your product and
pricing? The internet has been here for quite some time.
are some in this industry that really get it. However, as a whole, this
industry seems to be a bunch of people who have spent their whole
careers working with print trying to translate that knowledge to the
web. Some of them honestly have more ads than they do content.
are just some industries off the top of my head. On some days, I want
to e-mail them and beg them to come let me work there for free to help
them out, but then I realize that doesnt make a lot of sense.
Hopefully someday, things will improve. I can understand certain
businesses not getting it and dropping the ball, but for entire
industries to have it all wrong makes me really wonder whats going on. [Garrett Dimon]