rocknbil - 4:33 pm on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
As designers and site owners, we tend to think the look of a site is important.
I never thought it was. People don't care about your <rhetorically speaking> flashy design. Ask yourself: have you ever gone to a web site that is so cool looking you simply had to go back regularly just to bask in it's coolness?
Second question: the ones that are uber cool and slick, or have awesome programming or Flash - do you even remember what the site's topic is about?
Why do you come here? It's certainly not about design (don't kill me Brett. :-) ) You come here to solve problems - that's all you <rhetorically speaking again> care about, not design or pretties. You come because this site solves problems . . . and every web site, at it's core, should solve some problem and address it well. Unless your problem is a lack of design sense, visual design has little to do with this.
If you see the trend, maybe some site owners are getting it. I'll add one to your list, far more famous than the two out of three you stated - craigslist.org.
These are not my ideas though, I learned them solving my own problems. :-) Web Sites That Suck (checklist part one) [webpagesthatsuck.com]