This tip is simple. Build in all the functionality of your website/application before you start doing cool GUI/AJAX and all kinds of other features. If you launch a site and half your users cant use it cause they prefer Firefox then not only can they not use your stuff but its likely they will not come back and try it again.

When Microsoft Adcenter launched unless you were using Microsoft Explorer you were screwed. Now not only did that not allow anyone with Firefox but it also canned everyone who uses Linux or Mac OSX which is a pretty big margin IMO.

So anyway I dont want to pick on Adcenter its just the first example I could think of off the top of my head. Point is you need to really focus on functionality and usability. When you nail this then go for some icing in the user interface if you think its needed.

Just look at the enormous success of Cherrytap almost 1 million users already. IMO its the next big thing and yet it manages to do it without the coolest graphics ever. Another great example is Markus Frinds PlentyofFish dating website. Very simple looking sites that have awesome functionality.

So Focus On Functionality! Your SM Tip For Success #16

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

20 thoughts on “Focus On Functionality – TFS 16”
  1. Jeremy,

    That is an excellent tip. Being a software developer, I usually spend to much time with the artist. I find it that my time is usually better spent with the developers. Making sure things are usable and useful to our users.

  2. This is absolutely true. I recently spent a bunch of time learning a little AJAX for a basic function on my site, only to realize that it ONLY worked properly in Firefox. Needless to say, it was gone. More dynamic pages are cool, but if it doesn’t work on every browser then it’s useless!

  3. Sometimes simple can be better. Functionality should be considered one of the utmost priorities; otherwise, how else can you expect people to use your product? Amping is contagious, I know, but sometimes you just have to go for basic and universal. Once you’ve established your brand and you can actually afford to be a little adventurous, then by all means, go crazy.

  4. Jeremy – great post.. frame the walls before you start painting and hangin wallpaper..

  5. Wow, I just checked out CherryTap and now I know why you chose it as an example. That website is UGLY!

  6. Great tip–AdCenter is a good example, even though I sort of would expect that they would do something like that–because they’re Microsoft but because they have control over the browser and are probably doing things with it that we’re not totally aware of.

    Cherrytap is a great example, too. Just take a lookt at Google–very simple design that works well. Not a lot of fluff. Simple and not a lot of “fluff” can be a good thing as long as it’s done right. But, there’s got to be something said for bad web design. Even if it has great functionality and is a cool type of site if the site has bad web design and looks “amateurish” then visitors won’t take it seriously and they won’t give the site a chance to be good.

  7. yes, I fully agree. So many folks get dragged away by the technical possibilities and forgt about the core functionality.

  8. People come to see pretty UI’s but stay because of functionality. After the wow that’s nice factor, you gotta have functionality or no one stays.

  9. This is one of those “Well Duh” type tips that everyone says they already know but few of them actually do.

    Good post, thanks for reminding us to put the horse before the cart!


  10. UI is all that matters today, with all the CSS topsites coming up a better UI is definitely the way to go.

  11. Thanks, was a good reminder. It seems so obvious but sometimes I do find myself spending hours working on details in photshop before I have any html.

  12. I see lack of functionality happen all to often, especially in e-commerce. As an Internet Business Consultant it’s this sort of issue that keeps my inbox full.

  13. I agree for sure about e-commerce. I think a big reason for that is simply that creating/customizing shopping cart software is beyond many people’s skills.

  14. I agree; however, I never make it back to the do the cool. Keep driving forward or to the next feature/project.

  15. Proves it doesn’t have to be pretty, but does a pretty site have a better chance?

  16. This is great advice especially for ecommerce where repeat business is huge. Every returning customer is one that you don’t have to spend on marketing to get.

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