websites that work

Lately I have been musing over a few questions regarding websites that really work, and why. Just about every blog on the planet up until a few years ago was about this exact problem, written by people who were either selling websites or were analysing the internet like Jack the Ripper analysed them ladies.

One website has always stood out for me as the shining light of design, both from a form and a function perspective: Burton Snowboards. Not only did Jake Burton (basically) invent snowboarding, he has always implemented a culture of “by riders, for the riders”, which has more often than not, led to an industry leading series of products, concepts and marketing paraphernalia that has set the standard for so many years.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a Burton Snowboards fan by any means. But credit where credit is due, these guys have always nailed their marketing, and their market share has shown that consistently for over twenty years.

So I was pretty disappointed when I saw their new site launch today. It’s boring, it’s flat and entirely un-engaging from both a snowboarder and non-snowboarders perspective.
But the big question is, does it work? I am going to hazard a guess here and say, you’re darn tootin’ and for one simple reason…

This guy.

Screen_shot_2010-08-06_at_10

Check out the site and enjoy having some funny little eyes follow your every move.
It may not blow your mind, but it’s a smart little addition to a (painfully) boring site that makes sure you know that whatever happens, we are thinking about what you want, and how to best deliver it to you.

Once again, as I have done at least once a year since the first time I went snowboarding more than 15 years ago… I have to grudgingly say well done Burton.
Your site may have nearly put me to sleep, but at least I know that little dude is with me all the way.

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