In recent months, we’ve done a fair amount of research on small business owners, and how a website can help them find their presence on the web. As I paged through some of the results recently, an interesting pattern began to emerge: many of the aspects of a service that are appreciated by small business, would arguably be a appreciated by everyone.

The service has to be compelling, simple, respectful of your time, and provide a quantifiable value. This is a broad generalization of some of the details of course, notably around a persona the report referred to as “established optimists”. As I read that, and as I imagine you might think to yourself as you read this too, those are all qualities embodied by products and services I like myself.

In that vein, those values might seem obvious on the face of it. But one of the real insights here is that what benefits one segment of people might also benefit another. If the product you’re building or the service you’re offering is respectful of peoples time, this is arguably a universally good thing. If your design is simple and accessible, easy to use, this is almost inarguably a good thing.

There are many factors to account for when building good products and services, many use cases to consider and many aspects to balance. But it is encouraging to see that some of the values I hold to be intrinsically true have data to support them as well.

By Joen A.

Design wrangler at Automattic. I believe in gravity, the moon-landing and human decency.