Microwave Burgers vs Pizza

Last night I was hungry. So my wife, being the kindly soul that she is, offered to make me some supper. After a brief interlude, and the sounds of some fridge rummaging, she returned with the choice of either a fresh pepperoni and mozarella pizza, or a Rustler's microwave quarter pounder. In my defence, I have absolutely no idea what a microwavable burger was doing in my fridge. Normally, I set my culinary bar slightly higher. Still, I was hungry, and despite knowing full well that I would probably get more nutrition from eating the plastic packaging, my mental cooking time calculations indicated that the burger should get the nod.

It wasn't that bad actually. It didn't smell like a burger should, and it didn't strictly speaking taste much like a burger, but it was edible. I managed to get it down my throat without thinking too deeply about the chemicals that must be required to keep a bread roll and cooked burger from going mouldy or stale for months on a supermarket shelf. I tried not to focus on the slightly odd texture of the meat, and was careful not to pay too much attention to the slightly bizarre lack of substance to the bread, which was not entirely unlike eating fresh air.

Upon completion of my evening snack, I reassessed my personal hunger situation and was somewhat dismayed to find myself in very much the same predicament as when I'd started: very hungry. I might as well not have bothered.

A Rustlers Microwave Burger
Basically...don't do it.

You see the burger had seemed like a great idea - a quick fix. Indeed, it was prepared in short order, but whilst it had the outward appearance of the real thing, it was found to be sadly lacking. This is a phenomena we frequently encounter in the web industry too.

I've often said that 95% of "web designers" aren't actually any good, and don't really know what they're doing. This is because, unfortunately, our industry is one without regulation. In this country we are also sadly lacking in academic courses providing appropriate qualifications (this is chiefly because by the time the course material gets approved and added to the curriculum, it's already out of date). As a result, many people with extremely limited experience in commercial web development set up shop to build websites. Indeed, using one of the many design template resources, and open source CMS platforms, anyone with fairly limited experience can set up a website. It might even have the appearence of the real thing. It may be tempting to engage such an outfit to build your business website, because it's quick and cheap. On closer examination though, it turns out to be a microwave burger; a facsimile of the real thing, with all the depth and goodness removed.

Building a successful commercial website properly takes time. It requires skills and experience built up over many years. It needs knowledge of design principles that is carefully married with skills in User Experience. The code needs to be secure and designed to work well with search engines. The finished website must now deliver a good experience to all users, whether they are on a desktop PC, Apple laptop, Android tablet, or smart phone. And, if it is to be a success, it needs to be built by a team that isn't purely comprised of techies; real business management and planning skills will also be required.

Last night, there was only one solution to the problem: forget the whole sorry episode and get the pizza in the oven. So often in life,  if you don't do a job right the first time, you'll end up having to do it again properly. This will cost you more and take much longer than if you'd done it right the first time. Worse still, you'll always have that slightly odd taste in your mouth.

David Hurst Posted by David Hurst on

What do you think?