Manifesto for better brochureware

Posted in Reflections by Andy Bell on November 11, 2004

Most company website are terrible. We aim to do better. Here's how:

1. Tell the truth, but make it fascinating

40 years ago David Ogilvy said this was the key to advertising. It is doubly true on the web. You can't lie (the truth is only a few clicks away). You can't bore (reading on screens is slow and painful). Every word and every pixel must work hard to communicate honestly.

<p><strong>2. Stop worshipping at the golden cow of technology</strong><br>

One reason so many websites are rotten is that companies get sold technology when what they need is help communicating. Communication happens through words, images and design. That is what we focus on.</p> <p>3. Hire brighter people
Many firms claim they only hire the best. This is an impossible brag. All we promise is that every new employee at Mint Digital will blow our socks off by doing what they do way better than we can.

4. Keep promises, whatever it costs in agony and overtime.

Every one of 25 projects we produced for Channel 4, ITV and Discovery was on time and within budget. We want keep that tradition up.

5. Create a pleasant working environment

Mint Digital employ dedicated fanatics who toil to make every pixel perfect. The best ideas happen away from the glare of a computer screen. The following are non-negotiable:

  • every day we stop for lunch and share a meal round a table.
  • on the last Friday of every month we take the afternoon off and do something different: sculpt clay, play softball or visit the zoo.
  • every member of Mint Digital gets a two week holiday when they will not be contacted
  • we will have the biggest tropical fish in the biggest tank in Oval.</p>

    6. Test, test, test
    Those damn users always find a million ways to misunderstand our brilliant designs. Testing is the only way to make a site make sense.

    1. Test, test, test, test, test, test.</strong>
      Finishing a site is only the beginning. If you are running a website you can access much more useful statistics than a direct marketer. Very few people make use of them. We want to find clients who will let us continually refine their site in the light of web stats and AdWords.

8. Swear loyalty to the three steps

Focus your message, build trust and grow a relationship are our three key steps. We swear blind loyalty to them while searching for steps four, five and six.

9. Have fun

If you don’t smile when working for Mint Digital, we’ll dock your pay.</p>

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