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Is your site design an iPhone or an Android? Mac or PC? And why should you care?

site designThe introduction of the first Apple Macintosh neatly divided the computing world into two: those who liked Macs and those who liked PCs. Mac fans were enamored with the graphic interface, the unified commands across programs – and the look of the machine itself. PC fans, on the other hand, liked the low cost, open architecture, and mix-and-match.  Over time, the marketplace gave its verdict: PC with a 90%+ market share, versus Mac with a 8-9% share. Macs settled in as graphics and music computers, and PCs took everything else. Apple almost died, then was reborn – and became a consumer electronics powerhouse. PCs still dominate the computer marketplace…but it’s a different place. More devices. Tablets. Smartphones. Netbooks. Complicated!

But you know what? That PC/Mac thing is still going – except now it’s more along the lines of iPhone/Android or iPhone/everything else.

You gotta admit – Apple is good at dividing up the market. How do they do that?

  • style (and convincing us that their style is hip)
  • unified user experience (everyone plays nicely together – Apple makes sure they do)
  • marketing (yes, people want to show off their iPhone to their friends)

But…Android is taking up the mantle of the old PC – low cost, more open architecture, lotsa apps, etc.  Personally, I like competition – and I think it is good for us to have choices.

Which brings me to job boards and site design.

Is your site an iPhone or an Android? Sleek, stylish, heavily marketed, very reliable? Or scrappy, kind of stylish in a geeky way, and open?

Honestly, I doubt it’s either. But the question is a useful one. Have you asked yourself what kind of top to bottom experience you want your users to have? What kind of image you want to project? How you want to be viewed? What does your pricing say about your site? How your style, experience, technology, and marketing actually play out in the user’s mind?

Are you willing to trade market share for margin (Apple)? Are you willing to open up for greater market share (PC)? Are you willing to nitpick the details (Apple)? Do you want to load in new technologies as they come online – even if they don’t quite fit in (PC)?

Maybe your site design is in the middle – a stylish Android or a geekish iPhone.

The important part is that you know which site design you are – what place you occupy in your users’ minds. What you are should influence your business decisions, your look and feel, your product offering – and where you’re going next.

A final word: anyone remember Blackberries? They were once the hot, stylish, powerful thing. Now? Not so much.

It can happen to any company. And any job board site design!

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