Corporate Sameness – Is it a curse or a blessing?

SameHOusesWhen I was a kid we used to drive from our home in New York down to Florida just about every winter. This was back in the 1970’s-80’s, and I loved seeing all of the different cultures, shops, and of course foods along the way. Fast forward to 1999-2003 and I was driving a big rig along the very same routes. It was a completely different landscape, and experience. Each small town had been gentrified by all the same franchises and shopping centers, and even the local accents were slowly disappearing. It was starting to become hard to tell what side of the Mason-Dixon line I was even on.

To me this made my travels bland, but it did also give me an odd sense of security. I knew that if I stopped into a Starbucks in Washington DC I would get exactly the same beverage that I had ordered when I was back home in California. This definitely killed the adventure, but provided an odd level of comfort akin to being inside the American Embassy while visiting a country in the midst of a coup d’é·tat.

“Corporate sameness is now taking over the web space, and I don’t know how I feel about this.”

Corporate sameness is now taking over the web space, and I don’t know how I feel about this. As I write this, I am in the final stages of version one of the Avanti Design and Strategy website. The maverick and artist in me wanted to do something outrageous and fun, but I have been down this path before. It is well known (and studied) that if you venture too far from the accepted navigation practices than folks either will get confused and leave, or just lose interest. Folks like simple, just ask Amazon or Google.

This blandness, and sameness reminds of an old song I love called “Little Boxes”

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

So version one of the Avanti website ended up being a moderate design, certainly based on accepted practices. Is it ground breaking? No, not at all. I think I may have to get started on version two sooner than I had intended.  To be continued…

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