That doesn't look that good looking to me.
Also, that site has not gotten a lot of attention for a while. His focus nowadays is on the much more attractive Appointment Reminder.
That is a "no true scottsman" fallacy.
When someone says design matters, it means having a pleasant design. BCC's design is not something that can be considered good. It still does business - that's great, but "it does business -> hence it has good design" doesn't hold.
'Pleasant' to who? Myspace's design is/was pleasant to teenagers, for example. So surely design is tied closely to the audience. If the goal is, let's say, making money, and the site has been A/B tested extensively and this 'design' makes the most money from its audience, then it's presumably the best design. There are so many anomalously successful website designs that ye can't just say it's about 'pleasantness', unless your audience are graphic designers.
A good looking, well designed website will convey credibility and professionalism. Even if you’re just two guys coding at a Starbucks, you can look like a big, well-known brand. Invest in design.
BCC does not convey credibility and professionalism and is not good looking.
It doesn't look like a Starbucks brand, it looks like some guy in his bedroom put it together.
appointmentreminder.org, on the other hand, does follow that advice.
So either Patio11's ignoring his own advice, the author misinterpreted it or Patio11forgot to add 'tailor to your market', which BCC might be.
In that sense you're totally right, BCC doesn't convey credibility, it looks like a landing page, and personally, i'd immediately go off the site if it was a product i was looking for because it looks scammy to me. It works though, apparently, is all i meant.
(Unless it's a trap for compulsive proofreaders and/or code checkers.)
I love that it gives that impression. $99 logo, $70 wordpress template.
Anyhow, as folks have noted, I'm not historically known for high-quality Web 2.0 design. I have vanishingly little design skill and poor taste, so I tend to do the minimum necessary to not scare away credit cards. I hope that the refresh on AR makes a positive impression on people, but making a positive impression on people who are not my customers is not super-high on my todo list.
It doesn't, that's just your fan club talking. It looks like a run-of-the-mill WordPress theme.
What you just said translates into "Design doesn't really matter." There is a difference between doing minimum needed not to scare away customers, and refining the design to appeal to both existing and future audiences. Latter is the case of why design matters, former is not. Former is just the same common business sense that dictates to not be rude to your customers or not use green on red text.
I think hostility(fan club) will only derail the conversation. Irrespective of whether the posters are fan boys or not, they are going to take offence, and then everything goes south.
With regards to being an anonymous jerk - I like my privacy, but should it have been an in-person conversation I would've said the same thing and probably then some.
That gives me an idea: What if HN hide usernames until you'd voted on a comment (or hide it for X minutes). That'd be an interesting technological change.
You've managed, in the most irritating possible way, to tell us that you find Patrick's blog template bland. Does anyone find this helpful?
I can say with almost total certainty, just based on the few words in your comments on these threads, that you care a thousand times more about Patrick's "HN karma" than he does.
A usable site that is a bit ugly will win over a great looking one that confuses the user. Craigslist is the best example of this, it doesn't look great, but millions of people use it. Foursquare wasn't as pretty as Gowalla, but it won because it was a better game - becoming mayor was more engaging than dropping teddy bears.
BCC was well designed in that it delivered exactly what people were looking for. Sure, it may convert better if it looked better, but it was successful nonetheless. But the whole point is that Patrick has learned that visual design also matters, which is why appointment reminder looks better.
The site looks neat, and there is an attribution for wordpress and "woo themes" in the footer.
Also, Patrick has posted below saying he didn't invest much in the ui(in terms of money or effort), which doesn't contradict anything. He said design matters; he didn't say one has to invest a lot of time and money.