Standard vs Out-of-the-box

Ad on Craigslist reads: Looking for a developer to create out of the box website. Standard designers need not apply. No mention if this is a site to sell As Seen on TV products or a registration for university courses or a download of heavy metal music…

Out of the box is superior. Period.
I beg to differ. Out of the box is not a goal, not a brand, not a functionality, not a style. It only says: I am different!

Would you buy an out-of-the-box car that has a roof wider than its undercarriage? Would you eat a pizza brought in a wire cage, on a bed of live grass? – it’s out of the box!
Thank you, but I like my website with clear navigation, large enough type and contrast in colours that doesn’t make me squint.

Information architecture was developed for a reason: it is a science and practise of how information needs to be delivered, so people can understand quickly and clearly what is presented to them.
First order of a website is not to be out-of-the-box, but to transpire the message and sensation, so viewer wants the product, whether tangible or knowledge or information . If this involves an artistic poke, a stimulus to the senses, then let be it out of the box when and where it makes sense.
People however are creatures of habit, and when they learn reading from left to write, making it upside-down and flipped all around does not create better website – only annoying one.

Website needs a wholesome vision, but without details that will be implemented by a professional website creator. I did not say a designer nor developer, as putting one above the other is a serious mistake. All-in-one website creator is most often the best choice that is time and cost effective with great final results.

You can download a weekly meal plan, buy all the good ingredients in an upscale store, and when Wednesday comes, sweat in the kitchen three hours over the celebrity’s cookbook to come up with a decent meal for your waiting around the table hungry family. Or… you can pop to local grocery market on your way from work, think creatively for 5 minutes while you are picking fresh, standard, common produce, and in 20 minutes create a great tasting, simple, nutritious meal that will truly benefit your whole family.

Starting from an out of the box design, then passing it to a front-end coder to match it to the pixel, then forcing a programmer to cut in between the lines with back-end databases and functionality that you heard about from your best enemy, and then finding a student who would squeeze in some keywords for SEO, does not make for a great end product website.

I am strong aesthetics proponent and think that programmers are awesome, but you shouldn’t be surprised to know that some very ugly websites are making bags of money and some very sophisticated processes behind other websites see only a few visitors a month. And no, SEO is not a king.

Many factors, including off-line entrepreneurship make up for a website success. All I am saying is that out-of-the-box requests make me laugh. I can do out of the box… But when it actually happens, the project goes round and round and comes back to the point where it is finally turned into quite standard.

There are exceptions, like everywhere, when an artist with technical skills and brilliant mind develops site of his/her dreams, which is all that… and more – but believe me, that person was not stumbleded upon by a micromanaging client.

Give your all-in-one website creator a subject and some freedom, and you will get a great, fresh, final product.

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