Past Present

I Want The Good Times Back

Ursula performing "I Want The Good Times Back" in The Little Mermaid

Is it embarrassing to admit that when I was driving recently, my radio tuned to the Broadway channel, I was listening to “I Want The Good Times Back” from The Little Mermaid?

Maybe. But it’s not totally irrelevant. From this recent post on PSFK: Top 10 Luxury Brands’ Sites Fail To Work On iPad

Out of the top 10 luxury brands ranked by Forbes in 2009, none of their websites worked sufficiently to match their desktop-web-experience. […] The key issue is that all the key luxury brands have designed their sites to use Adobe’s Flash.

A few years ago, these were the types of sites that designers dreamed of working on. But now these full-Flash (often full-screen) designs seem old-fashioned. They’re increasingly out-of-touch with the current online landscape. Are luxury brands having trouble keeping up?

(Actually — these sites feel almost like they could be iPad apps. Perhaps the challenge for iPad app developers is to find ways to make their apps have relevance and connectivity — to be more than single-use brochureware.)

Last year Seth Godin, in his interesting post Luxury vs. premium, wrote:

Luxury goods are needlessly expensive. By needlessly, I mean that the price is not related to performance. The price is related to scarcity, brand and storytelling. Luxury goods are organized waste.

I think that’s just it. These sites feel wasteful… and vaguely selfish. They’re isolated islands in an increasingly social web. But I’m certain that’s not what the brands want to communicate. If they’ve got any sense, they’re busy rethinking them right now. Take a look at them while they’re still around — it’s an interesting glimpse into a web design world which is very quickly fading away.

(Link via Daring Fireball, via Kottke.)