I agree that the Web site has some real problems.
Anyone who’s spent time on Web design knows that its cardinal principle is to make navigation of a site as SIMPLE as it can be. In the name of arty-ness, the CD site requires four or five clicks to discover info that should be available with one click from the front page. I won’t belabor the details because they’re not germane – and I suspect many of us are in businesses where we’re familiar with them. The color and font also suggest designers who aspire to “hip” style - but not style that works on the web.
Having said that, let me turn this, Pollyanna-style, to CD’s credit.
As Clyde and others have pointed out, this is a company that has developed a ruthless, triage-style sense of what it needs to do to have a future in the business. Unlike some of the dot-coms revving up in 1998 and 1999, it has never had the luxury of a tens-of-million-dollar warchest to spend however it wanted. Instead it has had to be very disciplined about where the NEXT dollar of capital and the next hour of time would go, and it has applied them quite shrewdly, I think:
It was more important to price the SR20 for volume sales than to be sure of making money on the initial run of SR20 sales, and they did that;
Once that was on the market, it was more important to get the SR22 in the pipeline than to do NON-ESSENTIAL tweaks on the 20. (Non-essential = gross weight increase. Essential = resolving TCM engine problems, etc.)This was necessary for the long-term business plan and for cash flow too, and they pulled it off.
Now it’s more important to pour available money into production hardware than anything else – and that’s where they’re spending their money and their top talents’ time.
Something I do admire about these people is their relentless concentration on the NEXT CRUCIAL TASK for corporate growth and survival. When they get around to fixing the web site, great, but not if it diverts money or attention from the real goal of the moment: production. Jim F
(FWIW I did a column on this very subject, streamlined Web page design: