Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

What about this one http://www.bingocardcreator.com/

That doesn't look that good looking to me.

I think that page has been A/B tested up the whazoo. It's probably optimised as much as possible to sell that software. I'll bet patio11 can put dollar figures on the placements of certain buttons, or the value of certain words.

What does it mean that your comment is half gray? You're more than likely totally correct so i hope it doesn't signify 'downvotes' or something...

Yes, it means downvotes. When you start going below 0 it starts greying out. I dunno why people were downvoting that comment, but it's been upvoted now and is non-grey.

Thanks, how do you downvote though?

You have to have a minimum karma score to be able to downvote. I'm not sure what that score is though.

Thanks. To be honest, one of the things i liked most about HN was the lack of downvoting (I never realised it was possible...i thought the grey posts were caused by mods or something). I know in effect there's no real difference...but the whole place felt more 'community' like. Ah well.

The min threshhold I think is now 500 karma. It's a way to ensure that only people who have been around for a while and understand the community have the ability to downvote, and the rule is only downvote contentless posts (like memes, "+1"'s, etc).

Jasus, i'll never get to 500. Those rules make sense, but the parent comment in this thread had been downvoted despite being correct. Fairly Redditish (the one thing that puts me off Reddit). Thanks anyway.

It's pretty easy to accidentally click the downvote button, and there is no way to fix it. Usually someone will vote it back up in short order.

Rudeness gets downvoted pretty aggressively.

Fortunately, you are not Patrick's target audience. He didn't say it had to make the design community swoon; just that it has to convey professionalism and draw your intended users in. I would bet the Bingo Card Creator website accomplishes these goals just fine for his core audience of middle-aged schoolteachers.

Also, that site has not gotten a lot of attention for a while. His focus nowadays is on the much more attractive Appointment Reminder.

> He didn't say it had to make the design community swoon; just that it has to convey professionalism and draw your intended users in.

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.

"""When someone says design matters, it means having a pleasant design"""

'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.

You're morphing the meaning of design that was conveyed in the article:

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.

Sorry you're right, i did change the meaning (even though i read the article :S).

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.

It's not a "no true Scotsman" fallacy — I'm saying that you're using entirely too high a bar. BCC's design is excellent compared to most sites for small businesses run by non-designers. It is not a work of art, but it is professionally designed, reasonably attractive and does not look obviously hacky. (By contrast, the old design actually was pretty crap.) Patrick's audience is not known to have discriminating design taste, so IMO it is fine. Take a look at, say, the website for a local bike shop to see what what bad design looks like.

In that page "student names great for first day jitters)" accidentally a (.

(Unless it's a trap for compulsive proofreaders and/or code checkers.)

Right, but he made that years ago. He clearly invested a lot in design for kalzumeus.com, which he made much later. If anything, this is a case for figuring out that design does matter.

He clearly invested a lot in design for kalzumeus.com

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.

> I love that it gives that impression

It doesn't, that's just your fan club talking. It looks like a run-of-the-mill WordPress theme.

> Anyhow...

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.

> It doesn't, that's just your fan club talking.

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.

It's not hostility, it's stating the obvious. patio11 as well as few other HN high-karmers get their most trivial comments routinely up voted to the top of every thread. It is reasonable to assume that this happens because a large number of people take triviality as revelations or insight because it comes from a person they really like. That's fanboyism. May not be the most neutral term, but it captures the essence of the problem - the lack of critical thinking. The comment about the website design (the one I took an issue with) had the exact same problem - if one removes the positive bias, the website looks bland at best.

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.

patio11 as well as few other HN high-karmers get their most trivial comments routinely up voted to the top of every thread.

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.

What did your original comment contribute, other than expressing your displeasure that people pay attention to Patrick?

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.

Comment sorting on HN is at least partly based on average karma values, so it's not necessarily a case of comments getting 'voted up to the top'.

This is correct. I have a relatively high karma score on HN. When I post, I usually go to the top of the thread in either the #1 or #2 spot. This is an example of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, not some secret plan to up vote the Patrick.

There's two kinds of design: 1) visual design that's about aesthetics. 2) UX design which is how well something works.

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.

Thank you for clearing that up, anonymous jerk.

It's still a good looking site, and his copy is spot on. No one said design has to be very expensive or custom made, it just has to work. Ask anyone on the street if kalzumeus.com looks professional, and they'll say yes. That's what matters.

> He clearly invested a lot in design for kalzumeus.com,

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.

Are you a female elementary school teacher?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact