"Beta" doesn't have to look bad


I think the new agency site for CP+B is fantastic for three reasons:

  1. The aggregation concept is a solid approach for companies (@Jowyang points that out) — bringing together all the conversations around a company from across the web fits the paradigm of open and transparent.
  2. They’ve launched the site in an “open-beta,” the same way Google would. It’s rough around the edges from a functional perspective, but it’s up there and they’ll make it better.
  3. They have plans to release it open source (see the “developers” link at the bottom of the site).

But despite that, I think the site is weak, because it looks like “beta,” unpolished, un-thought-out, with cliched tabs on the top right hand, and a standard grid layout. Across the web, there is a minimalist aesthetic shows beauty with just a little code. Poccuo is a small design-shop who does it right, among others.

While I’m not one to talk with the look of my blog, I do honestly feel CP+B would have done better had they just coded up an elegant wireframe, with clearer navigation and clickable elements.