... when it smells like baking

Recently, I stopped by a bakery in my neighborhood. When I walked into the store, I noticed right away that there were no customers inside; it was just me and a guy who worked there. There was one other thing that I couldn’t help but notice – it didn’t smell like a bakery*.

*You know what I mean, right? That unmistakable smell of freshly made bread and pastry combined in one amazing flavor. And you want to try the exact one that smells so, so good! I always have that feeling when I smell something tasty, even though I understand that it’s not the one thing that smells so good, but the combination of different flavors.

I bought a loaf of bread and left. That store reminded me of all those websites that sell something, but they don’t do it well for themselves.

During my job hunt, I’ve seen many websites, especially ones for agencies and creative firms. What surprises me is that they provide UX design, Web Design, Programming, Marketing, etc. services for their clients, but they don’t create a great experience for their own users! So often their websites are not user-friendly at all! How is it possible that you can sell something you can’t do for yourself first?

All these websites are like bakery stores. Instead of cookies and breads, they sell UX and Graphic design services. And the same as it was at my local bakery, at these websites you can’t smell the services they provide. If I closed my eyes and walked into this bakery, I would never know that it’s a bakery. The same is true with these websites – if I blurred the names of the services they provide, often I would never understand that they actually build user-centered websites.


The experience at the bakery didn’t make me feel good, but left me frustrated.

I remember when I was in middle school; pastries in the school’s cafeteria were amazing! When you first entered the cafeteria, you could smell this delicious flavor of freshly made pastries. Everyone knew what time they brought the freshly made pastries. You had to be very fast in order to be first in line to get the freshest cookie! Smelling and eating those delicious cookies made me feel so good. To this day, I can still remember that experience and the way it made me feel.


If my local bakery smelled delicious I would be their first customer in line, just as I was in middle school.

If companies that provide UX services for their clients would have a pleasant, user-friendly experience on their own website, it would be much easier for them to acquire new clients. Wouldn’t you trust the bakery that “smelled” like baking more?

If you can’t be a good example then you’ll have to be a terrible warning. ― Suzanne Braun Levine

Be a good example!