Web site owners are often proud of their web sites. They feel a sense of achievement when their new web site is designed. After all the hard work and discussions they feel really proud when their new “baby” is announced to the world.

New research on pride suggests that one of the functions of feeling proud is to reinforce socially valued behaviours. What this means is that because everyone else is proud of their web site, you feel motivated to express pride when your new web site is born. You feel proud because you feel expected to be proud.

However, here’s the problem. The socially constructed pride in web site design has helped everyone focus on the wrong thing. You can be as proud as you like of your web site, the cleverness of its facilities and the superb features of its design. But pride will not pay the bills.

Refocusing on what you can be proud of will help you ensure your web site actually succeeds. For instance, be proud of the number of orders you get each day, be proud of the lack of returns you get, be proud of the mailing list you are growing. In other words, be proud of the results you get – rather than the web site itself. A web site is only a means to an end. Refocusing our pride on the end rather than the means could have dramatic results for our online world.

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