This is a web page(

almost 10 years ago from Justin Jackson, Maker

  • Justin JacksonJustin Jackson, almost 10 years ago (edited almost 10 years ago )

    " A page of text without styling is hard to read and hard to care about in an age of instant gratification and ADHD."

    A few data points to consider: - Over 50,000 unique people have visited that page today. They've spent, on average, 2:43 minutes reading it (very good, for a page that length) - I received over 400 mentions on Twitter today from that page. Only 2 have been negative. - The click-through rate on that link on the bottom of the page (to my book's landing page) is over 8% (average CTR is generally 1-2% I think) - Great designers like Jeffrey Zeldman, Jason Fried and the folks at A List Apart liked it and shared it today

    3 points
    • Nancy TsangNancy Tsang, almost 10 years ago (edited almost 10 years ago )

      Hey Justin,

      Thanks for the stats- I don't disagree with them, but I do believe there's a time and place for a large body of text. If you're telling a story, that's great. I definitely read through long articles (eg: NYT's relatively unstyled 6-pagers) if the story grabs me and the writing is good. But if you're trying to explain what your mobile app is, that's not so great.

      Good content > decorative design. But good content also risks being overlooked without styling. Great design is when it enhances good content without getting in the way.

      0 points
      • Justin JacksonJustin Jackson, almost 10 years ago


        But in this case, couldn't we argue that this page is good design?

        An average post on the New York Times or Huffington Post might get 2,500 views in a day. A great one might get 27,000+.

        This page, written, designed, and distributed by 1 person has had 61,198 page views so far today.

        Doesn't sound like it's been overlooked, despite it's lack of styling.

        0 points
        • Nancy TsangNancy Tsang, almost 10 years ago

          I think it depends on the way the content is served too. Would an average post in the NTY or Huffington post get 61,198 views in a day? Probably not, but I'm guessing people who hate sports don't read sports articles, people not interested in business don't read the business section, etc.

          But post an article titled 'This is web design' on DN, HN, and spread it on Twitter? The audiences of all 3 are quite tech-oriented, and a lot of people visit those sites. It's like preaching to the choir; they're likely already intrigued by the title and are interested in reading what you say about web design.

          I think you posted in the right places and got the right exposure, so no, it hasn't been overlooked. I think this phenomenon of viral-ness is very interesting and merits another discussion on its own even. However- nice job, and congrats on your improved stats :) My intention was never to offend, but to make an ironic/funny comment.

          0 points