Cut Your Site In Half

(Originally posted on 9 Dec 2005 at yeahfi.com)

We finally launched our first public Beta Wi-Fi hotspot this week! However, feature-wise, it’s very much a stripped down version of what we envision. And that’s a good thing!

Because I believe one should start simple. The really funny thing is, even though our new service does something very ‘simple’, the interface is anything but. To sign up as a new user to our service, you have to go through 11 webpages!

Our current design was done by developers, for developers”. I.e. the webpages were actually built just as “test” pages so that our developers could test the working of the back-end system.

So we went back to the drawing board (literally) and realised straight away that we could cut out 3 of those webpages immediately before any major re-design or development.

Ironically, even though our design is already convoluted and the usability needs much improvement, we’re already talking about extra features and in which priority we should be adding them to the existing webpages…

Then I saw a comment by Jason Fried on his Signal Vs. Noise blog: “As sites mature they should be getting smaller, not bigger. Fewer pages, not more. Fewer words, Fewer paragraphs, Fewer options. There’s too much on too many sites.”

Back to the drawing board again…

Update: Today the entire process has been cut down to 1 step and 3 steps for vouchers and credit cards respectively.

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