When you’re engaged in the design phase of your web project, you’re probably browsing the web, checking out the competition and thinking about ways to make your site stand out.
You may like a bit of this and a bit of that, enjoy a video here, like an animation there. Maybe you’re keeping a running list of features you want to see on your site. As your imagination works overtime, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that a site design can tip easily from creative to cluttered.
Before you jam every conceivable bell and whistle into your site, keep this next tip in mind.
Tip #5: “More” Is Not Always “Better”
It’s a safe bet to say that all businesses want an effective website. But what’s “effective” and what’s “excessive”? When it comes to good website design, more is not always better. Yes, your site can flash, blink and sing, but there are reasons not to add that extra feature.
By “extra features” we mean things that do not improve your sales, make your business more efficient or advance your goals, but are simply surface enhancements. Music. A twinkling star. Graphics that fade in and out or build your logo in a 60-second animated clip. All of these things may impress you but they may not impress your visitors. Extra features can:
- Slow your site down so that people with slow Internet connections might never get through your opening animation.
- Stop or inhibit search engines from listing your site.
- Annoy or distract (or worse, bore!) visitors so that they leave your site before learning anything, signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase.
- Fail to load in certain browsers or on mobile phones.
Flashing-blinking-singing things can be distracting, repetitious or detract from the real purpose of your site. That isn’t to say that these elements should never be used. Each has its place and can be an integral part of good site design. But any enhancement should advance your business goals, and your animations and music should come equipped with an “off” button or an alternate static version.
If you’ve got a site built completely in Flash, now is the time to rethink that. Once the darling of the creative world, Flash has become a hindrance with the advent of certain mobile phones and devices that don’t support it.
Chances are, your Flash site would be just as beautiful, and perhaps even more functional if it were built in good old fashioned HTML, especially with so many alternative motion-based technologies available.
If a particular effect or technology doesn’t make sense in the context of your business, then it doesn’t make sense to have it on your site. Remember, the purpose of a business web site is to convert visitors into customers, not to show off your web developer’s creativity.
What “extra” would really make a difference on your site, without overdoing it?