I thought you had to be appealling to be successful. we have been conditionned by the fashion industry to think that way. But apparently this not (always) true and i will prove it here with a few online and offline examples
Some of the ugliest websites are some of the most used/visited. Craiglist, MySpace in France SkyBlogs and Tf1. Check screenshots below. But this could apply to websites that are not specially ugly but that have no real design intention (think Google)
In the Offline industry i have been stuck by the success of Crocs, this australian brand of casual shoes. They are SO ugly i can t even begin to see myself with them. But here we go, they grow quite nicely and have international presence in less than 2 years..
So why does it work? Because people are much less demanding than what we think on the envelop but really demanding on the inside. They want functionnality first (content, features/ comfort, long lasting, …) and are ready to forget about the nice design. Craiglist is offering the best free network for local classified (for now), Tf1 the best content information, Skyblog/MySpace the basic necessary features to edit a blog and have access to a big community. Crocs offer comfortable and very functionnal casual light shoes (but their website is an absolute beauty and they have also some other less known very nice products).
- making pretty is not a necessity for success.
- what matters is the meat not the packaging meaning the functional side of a product/service
- but if you can also match the content with a nice packaging then you have a point