Mr. Cranky Talks Website Design – When Gorgeous Is Ugly

Website Development



“Your web site sucks! It’s so ugly!”

“Oh yours is very pretty! How many leads does it generate?”

“Leads? Generate? Wait…. What? It’s supposed to generate leads?”



When Pretty is Pretty Ugly

Hey folks pretty is good if you’re entering your website in an art show but if you’re running a business its leads you want…you may have to make a function over form compromise. In other words, sometimes pretty…is pretty ugly.

Let’s look at it through the lens of another medium (said Mr Cranky in a way that makes him look pompous not to mention the third person reference to oneself which is even more pompous).

If you look at the highest 10 grossing films of all time, you’ll find that not one of them was an “Art House” film. None of them won the vaunted Palme d’Or, which is the top prize at the Cannes film festival. No top grossing film (pronounced “fill-em” with pinky in the air whilst drinking chardonnay) ever won top prize at the Sundance film festival. No those winners are all “art house” flix.

Heck, the only recent Cannes winner I’ve seen was “The Tree of Life,” and I knew I had wasted my money even before the film started rolling when the theater manager stood up in front of the audience and announced there would be no refunds at the end of the film. Oh the horror! Seeing that film is something I can never un-see.  There went 3 hours of my life that just like the money I plunked down on that bomb, I will never ever get back.

If you want to make art than make a film but if you want to make money, make a movie. Movies like Avatar, Titanic, Iron Man 3 and even Transformers Dark of the Moon, appear in the top 10 grossing movies of all time. If you expand the list to the 11th entry, than a second Michael Bay Transformer movie makes the top 11 grossing films of all time even though the art house critics widely pan Bay as a director and the Transformer movies are a waste of celluloid or pixels or magnetic media or whatever media is used to store today’s movies.

My point is that there is art and there is revenue and rarely do the two things co-exist. Ballet and Opera don’t draw the same raving fans as an NBA basketball game.

Think Practical

Websites are the same. Websites should be built to draw audiences and get them to the website equivalent of a box-office….the Call-To-Action, Lead-conversion form.  A good website doesn’t have to be a piece of art to serve its purpose. Good looking is nice, but artistic esthetics don’t always translate into revenue. A work of art website that doesn’t drive revenue is just another “Tree of Life,” and just like the theater manager who stood up in front of the audience before the movie started, your Web development firm is probably not going to refund your ticket price either.

Want to understand how you can get more revenue-generating performance from the piece of art you call a website? Contact us for a free web-site analysis and we’ll look at how you can increase your conversions and drive more revenue though your box office.


* The views of the author may not reflect the views of Surefire Local or its partners

Glen Hellman

Glen Hellman (A.K.A. Mr. Cranky) has a deep understanding of sales and marketing. Over the past 30 years of running large sales organizations and product management he’s learned what it takes to avoid dangerous waters and save a sinking ship. His writings provide guidance and strategy to business leaders, helping them determine what to do & how to do it. As CRO, Glen leads the team that matches customer’s revenue generation needs with Surefire Local’s products to ensure healthy growth for our customers and the company. Prior to joining Surefire Glen was a Vistage CEO Business Coach, where he focused on helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses. In 2009 Vistage named him Rookie Coach of the Year. He is an Angel Investor, ranked as the #1 Investor in the US by Tech Cocktail readers. The Washington Business Journal named him as one of the 10 CEOs people should follow on Twitter.

By Glen Hellman | 3 years ago | Twitter 

Checklist: 8 Steps to Building The Perfect Website

Get ebook

A Guide to Google My Business

Get ebook

Good Reviews & How to Get 'Em

Get ebook

Making Social Media Work for Your Local Business

Get ebook