Your Stuff is Really Ugly

I work with a lot of small businesses.  I own a small business.  My friends are fellow 8pm Warriors too.

I see a lot of stuff.

Unfortunately, your stuff is really ugly.

I know, I know I know.  It sounds mean.  That’s why I was too nervous to tell you directly.  I feel bad.  If you found this article on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, your friends probably feel the same way.  Everyone (including me) is afraid to tell you, so they nominated me to be the bad guy this time.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • The visual elements on your website look old and worn out.
  • Your logo looks like it was designed on Microsoft Paint 10 years ago.
  • The fonts you’re using say more than the words you’re using.
  • Your videos look like a 13 year-old made them with a webcam and iMovie.
  • Your background music is cheesy.
  • Your clever designs aren’t clever.
  • Your photos are dark and grainy.

Your stuff is really ugly.

It used to be endearing….a right of passage for new entrepreneurs. “Just design it yourself,” they’d smile and say.  I was an enabler, nodding in agreement while adding:

“Entrepreneurs can’t afford great design.  Creative people are too expensive for small businesses!”

However, that is poor advice in an online world dominated by Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other visual media sites.  I’m embarrassed to share your site. I don’t want to buy from you because I mistake your ugly stuff for a lack of competence.

Good design is achievable for the average small business now. All you need to look good is put an ad or two in Craigslist, use countless crowd-source design websites, rely on templates, find hungry design students willing to intern, or look up tons of design companies that are slow right now.

Your stuff doesn’t have to be so ugly.

With so much ugly stuff out there, it is a crying shame that there are so many creative 8pm Warriors unemployed or underemployed.  I see them everywhere I look…I get resumes upon resumes.  We had to take our career page down. I feel bad.

For you.

This is your chance to look like a million bucks without spending it.

There is no excuse for ugly stuff.  It hurts my eyes.  It hurts your reputation.  It hurts your business.

Get a decent designer tonight,

Aaron @Biebert

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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

11 comments on “Your Stuff is Really Ugly”

  1. This was a good punch in the jaw… needed. I think my stuff may be ugly. But people are nicer than Aaron and won’t say so. I need to upgrade my company website. I think my blog is fine. If any generous folks on here can check it out and give me a thumbs up or down, I’d be much obliged.

    ..enjoyed the post and how its directness, thanks. 

    1. Hey Jacob, glad you enjoyed it.

      Yes, your site is ugly, but it will only take a new WordPress template and about 20 minutes to look good.  Your twitter background looks really nice.

      You’re doing better than most.  Probably because you care enough to be introspective.

  2. I agree. And I thank you all for making my stuff look better. [grin]

    The distance from crapola to good design can be long. Because not everyone has good taste or design instincts. Not everyone can frame the design challenge to be overcome – all of the problems that good design will attempt to resolve. Most professional graphic designers can’t even do all that. They too depend on creative and business direction of their projects. 

    And even when you have the hutzpah, competence and capability, sometimes there’s not enough time or resources to make it happen.

    You need four things for good design to be going on:

    1. Business Direction
    2. Creative Direction
    3. Design Execution
    4. Time and Money

    But if you love driving a 20 year old, rusted out station wagon (with no muffler) to the prom, don’t sweat it. [grin]

    Good design, on the other hand, should run about $25/hour. A good, small website layout design shouldn’t take more than 8 hours. A small business or personal brand logo, 12 hours.

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