This Website is an Elephant

Metaphors are a great way to improve the way you think about what you’re working on. But they can also limit the way you think about something.

I overheard someone describe their website as being like a brochure for their company. Personally, I think that’s a big mistake. Brochures are something you deliver to someone, websites are something that you visit. I don’t know many people who go out of their way to hunt down a brochure.

But it’s not a good idea to throw out the brochure idea without knowing what the website was made for. Maybe being a brochure is exactly what it needs to be.

The difficulty comes in when you start thinking that your website is always something. Because then you stop yourself from ever imagining that it could be anything else. Different sites fill different needs. And a metaphor is only useful if it makes things clear. If it doesn’t serve its purpose, be ready to throw it away.

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