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Simple Different Ethics

The "user first" approach

Part of the Ethics of Simple Different, the company behind SimDif, is to guide its users as they build websites.
SimDif is designed to encourage users to create and organize the content that their readers would like to see:  it is also the best way to structure a website for Google.

SimDif is not conceived as a product that people would purchase before they had a chance to understand it.

Business and ethics, an odd couple?

It depends on which one is placed first. When creating an online service, if profit is put first, it will often have a stereotypical impact where the entire user experience is built to funnel people into paying.

A well-known example is how social networks and e-commerce sites use cookies. These services are originally designed to collect informations about their users, profiling them, and spying on their online behavior. Facebook business model is for example, based on reselling their findings to marketing companies and advertisers.

Nowadays, encouraged by European regulations, businesses have to install a button on their website for the user to accept these cookies when they arrive at the site. But we also know that most people do not understand the purpose of these cookies, or what they are accepting by clicking on this button.

Placing service before profit

An online service that prioritizes a user-first approach, is often incompatible with the expectations of venture capitalists.

The Internet industries are often represented by the success of services built on the ability to take advantage of their user's lack of knowledge, and very rarely on the public recognition of their usefulness.

The alternative exists. When creating a new service, the fundamental intention can be to advocate the users and the quality of their experience.

Services that users recognize as respectful, helpful and beneficial,  progressively turns into solid enterprises. In this way, business and ethics can work well together.

If you place ethics before business, there is a solid and mutually beneficial alternative

Services can be designed to be supportive, providing value to the customer. It is about building trust and fostering a continued collaboration.

One can create good tools without greedily collecting and sharing its user's information,

A good practice for example is to erase customers personal data, if and when they decide not to use the service anymore.


Storing the data of as many users as possible, sadly became a corporate culture. It is not only the base for the next email spamming campaign, but it is also what "hackers" are actively seeking.

When it comes to welcoming clients, respecting their pace at which they learn, and protecting their personal data, one soon realize that good intentions aren't always enough. 


Building a useful service which respects its users starts by the way it is designed and written.

Lots of website builders are designed to maximize sales and margins


How a "profit first" strategy becomes toxic for a future website designers.

Most simplified website builder services are set up to quickly sell the idea of what most people believe is a good website.

They are pushing beginners who haven’t yet been given the opportunity to understand what a website is, to pay as early as possible.

Typically, marketing oriented website builders use a set of tricks which sadly became the norm:


• Making users start by choosing a pre-made website template. 

This is proposed without regards to the organization of the content, or the future reader's needs and expectations. Even if these qualities form the essential qualities of a good website. Ironically, the most famous website builders not even allow to change the template preserving the content: one has to rebuild the entire site.

• Inviting users to make their first choices focused around choosing a big and beautiful header picture. 

This big photography is impressive. But this picture will most likely be replaced with a less perfect one, more adapted to the topic of the site. A topic that maybe does not need such a big photo to start with?

• Making users believe that the quality of their site depends on the add-ons they can purchase.
 

The urge to sell something reduce here again the chance to show the importance of the quality of the content and its organization, for Google and for the visitors of the site.

• Making them think that purchasing their own domain name "right now!" is vital. 

Rather than giving them time to think and the proper guidance. It generally takes a bit of time to choose the right name.

• Suggesting that SEO is only about a list of keywords in the metadata,

 rather than emphasizing the reality of website optimization. For example, using one page per topic and choosing the right title for each page, is much more important than the keywords tags.

These are only the most classic examples. You can already see that these services are not designed to help, but primarily to sell. Some might see it as a breach of trust of their users.


This is why SimDif has been built, to offer an alternative solution. SimDif has been designed keep up with the challenge to guide, entrepreneurs, students and associations, in the creation of their own website.