This is the front page of a new webservice. I will not be going any further.

I will not be a user of this product (for now).

I saw a promotion for the service in a newsletter and I was interested. I clicked over. I saw that I'd have to log in to check it out. That's cool. If I want to check something out online I'm not discouraged by a log in gate, I can always delete my account and I'm happy to engage with the company in they way they need in order to provide the service they spent so much time and money creating, especially if it's free.

Today I will not be doing this because the visual design of this page is terrible.

The truly horrific, inexcusable presentation of the information on this page is something I can't ignore. The lack of understanding of basic visual and user experience design rules and best practices is unbelievable. The lack of heart, soul, cultural perspective and visual beauty is just sad. It's a huge opportunity missed.

This isn't about being a design snob, it's about what this signals to me.

This page tells me that design is not at the core of the product. If they didn't even "splurge" for a graphic designer to come in and put a nice polish on this page, my  guess is that they didn't employ the services of a user experience designer to insure that the product is the best it can be. Maybe they did, but I can't tell that from this page. Their product feels bad to me before I even get in the door.

This page makes it obvious to me that human centered design is not at the core the company and that I can expect to be subjected to an experience that at a minimum frustrates and wastes my time and at a maximum can't provide the service because it is unusable.

I don't mean to pick on CureTogether they were just the latest example I came across. The start up industry is still marginalizing the role of design and I'm so confused.  Why is this still happening?  Lots of people have been talking about it for years, lots of very smart people with degrees and data and respect and success. Gah!  Why aren't people listening?

Do you have a product? Do you need help figuring out how to bring design into your core? Let me help. Even a few hours of consultation can be a big help. I feel like it's my duty to help since I know there are few experience designers available, so let's work something out.

I believe in what you are doing and your success depends on good design. Get a designer in there. Do it for yourself. Do it for your users.


One more thing:  After reading the bio's of  the CureTogether founders I really want to check out this product, they sounds like some really smart folks. I wonder how they ended up with a poor presentation like this? Baffling.