Appealing to Your Customers

If you're a highly technical website providing information and help for guru-level users, you can't generate revenue off of pop-up or banner advertisements. You just can't. I mean, you can post ads on your site, but they'll never get viewed.

The idea is that the most basic user uses the default web browser with the default settings. Therefore, to appeal to basic users, you need only adapt your strategy around the obvious settings. Advanced users, however, have likely discovered alternative web browsers and add-ons to modify webpages as they like. They're willing to invest in their web-browsing future and have the knowledge and resources to do so. Advertisements won't make it through their complex adblock barriers. And any attempt you might make to discourage their way of doing things will surely be labeled frivolous. In short: don't fight the people you're trying to appeal to.

However, those who would go through such lengths to get what they want are clearly educated. They would understand the concept of needing support to maintain your website. A donate button and a small paragraph about how you pay out of your own pocket for the site would more likely appeal to them.

But how do you get through to the people who have discovered adblock software but scoff at donations?

What I Want From EVE

After a brief discussion with a friend, I realized the problems I have with EVE. They're very simple, but I don't know simple or realistic they are to implement.

  • UI overhaul
  • Additional keybinds
  • Pretty space objects

UI Overhaul

This is easy to explain. There are a lot of words on my screen when I have EVE open. In no part of my life do I need words to figure out what to do next.

The only time I've ever had to rely on words to get where I'm going is in figuring out what's in my oatmeal, and that doesn't work because even though I can now pronounce Sodium Metabisulphite, I still don't know what it is. If they named every item in the grocery store after the first three ingredients in it, you'd never buy anything, because everything would be called Sugar, Water, Natural and Artificial Flavors. On the other hand, if you saw some Sugar, Water, Natural and Artificial Flavors in the shape of a soda can, you'd be like, "Oh, that's a Pepsi."

A shape that wouldn't exist without soda pop. Yet we can recall a name, flavor, sounds, and memories when simply shown a pop can. You know what we call that? Associative symbolics. Actually, I don't know what you call it, but those two words look like they fit.

Anyways, that's what EVE needs more of. I shouldn't have to click a button labeled "cargo." Instead, I should be able to click on a little picture of... I don't know, a car trunk? A treasure chest? A U-haul? It'll open up my cargo for me. And if I'm hungry: I'll click a picture of a banana.

There's also something to say about window positioning. I don't need to turn a light on in my house when I wake up during the night, because everything is going to be where I put it. Even blindfolded I bet I could walk around the house without bumping my toes. It's the same with a UI; consistent object placement makes it easier to find what we want, or to avoid it. Words unnecessary.

Additional Keybinds

I have over 104 keys on my keyboard, plus two mouse buttons and a scroll wheel. Discarding the worthless button with a windows logo on it (I have conveniently labeled it "suicide"), I still have many more buttons than EVE has useful functions to bind them to. Sure, you can bind "next track" or "pause track" from EVE's half-assed audio player to buttons, but I can't bind "target nearest asteroid" or "lock on nearest enemy." What's the point of not allowing those? Seeing the enemy drawing nearer isn't difficult; deciding if you want to fight or just get the hell out isn't difficult either, the hardest part is clicking their name or navigating through forty drop down menus to flee. First person to carpal tunnel wins?

Pretty Pictures

Space, in real life, is big and black. Space, in EVE, is big and black. In real life, there's nothing to do in a spaceship (one reason why NASA isn't spending billions putting people in space anymore, because robots are cheaper and can get more done). In EVE, there's nothing to do in a spaceship. But that far in the future, shouldn't bejeweled come installed by default in all newly serviced ships?

I would like EVE more if I didn't have to look at it. Which is, mostly, how I used to play it. Issue the commands then alt-tab to something more interesting, like Actually, scratch that; I'de rather stare at black space than endure unbiased news.