Positive vs. Negative Manner

“Content is the king”, but aren’t they also saying “what really matters is not what you say, but how you say it”? Building and managing better web sites became very complex task as the medium evolved from pure-text-plus-image-flyer to a multy disciplinary dynamic presentation of some information. I’m certainly not the top expert in the area, but let me point out a few things i’ve been thinking about recently.

Before we proceed, i just want to say that sites in this post are all good at what they represent and generaly have my full respect.

I found out about dasdua.org (Developers Against Standards Deficient User Agents) via Ryan Parman’s blog. This web site is here for some time now and its’ mission is

“… to promote and make the average web surfer aware of the more modern and standards compliant browsers and mail/news clients than Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.”

Now, all of this sounds great and there they have all those features they should have, including downloads section for the latest advanced browsers. Everything sounds fine, except their title. Developers Against Standards Deficient User Agents. “Against” means fight. And fight is a bad thing. It provokes bad emotions. People don’t like to support something which is connected to a word “bad”. On the side note, average user (non-developer) probably never heard about “User Agent”. What is the User Agent? Is it some kind of Man in Black which puts bad users into a prison? Those who understand what is the User Agent, already switched.

In another corner we have browsehappy.com, a website with the exact same mission as above, but with completely different aproach. A flower and a word “happy” result in a positive overall experience on their site. The first thing that you read after a quick scan is

“Internet Explorer can make your computer unsafe. Why not switch to a browser that’s more secure?”

The tone of this quote is kind and pleasant. It suggests. It doesn’t gives you an order. And the whole web site is simple and it’s easy to find what you came for. It guides you subconsciously. It doesn’t push, it pulls.

When taking some action, please do it in a positive manner.

Marko Dugonjić is a designer specialized in user experience design, web typography and web standards. He runs a nanoscale user interface studio Creative Nights and organizes FFWD.PRO, a micro-conference and workshops for web professionals.

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