Always keep your goal in mind
There is one overriding reason to have a web site. That reason, quite
simply, is to make you money. If a site doesn't improve your bottom line,
it's time to re-think your strategy.
Too often, people get caught up in the bells and whistles... animation,
pictures, flashy graphics and sound. These design elements certainly have
their place, but only when including them results in a positive customer
experience that will bring more revenue to your business.
The following table provides additional information of some site elements
that can turn off customers.
||What is it?
Use with caution
are used to break a web page into individually scrolling areas. Typically there will
be two frames - one across the top or left side that contains navigation controls
("hyperlinks" to other pages in the web site), and another that holds the actual
||Frames can simply
site navigation and speed page delivery, but there can be a downside.
Search engines have a hard time with frames, so this can adversely
affect your ranking in searches. Also, printing pages from your site
becomes trickier. The browser by default will print the contents of
the frame that last had mouse activity - usually the navigation
|Clip Art is
widely available graphic images that can be included in documents, desktop publishing and
web pages. Have you been in a computer store lately? 250,000 piece clip art
libraries go for $29. Where do all those pictures end up? Unfortunately, much
of it winds up on the web.
||Clip art is
often included on a page to make it "interesting", "flashy" or
"cool". If the graphics enhance the message of the page then it's great.
The problem occurs when people choose pictures that have very little to do with the
content of the page, which dilutes the point you are trying to make.
It's even worse if you use popular clip art that your visitors could
have seen elsewhere.
|Animated Clip Art
|Like the clip
art we described above, except it moves, blinks or changes color.
||The human eye
is immediately drawn toward things that move. So using animated pictures can be a
tremendous technique to draw attention to key points of your message.
However, animated "extras" do just the opposite by
focusing attention away from your message.
Do you want people to learn about your products or
be mesmerized by the envelope that flies away?
or Sound Effects that can't be turned off
or .WAV files, they begin to play as soon as the page loads.
||Multimedia effects can
significantly enhance the user's experience on your web site... or may
drive them away in droves, never to return. It's important to
give people choices.
The problem arises on sites that don't give the visitor any option.
Music and sound effects may prevent people from comfortably visiting your site from
work, school, or the local internet cafe.
Background music rarely relates to the content of
the page, further diluting your sales message.
pictures and poorly contrasting text
someone grabbed a clip art image and decided it would be a cool background. Then
they colored the text for a real "artsy" effect.
they'll have to squint to read what's on the page. Most folks won't bother, they'll
just head to your competitor's site.
and poorly contrasting text
who don't have clip art libraries, they just color the background (usually black) and make
the text a color that clashes.
Here's a link to sample page we did years ago that grossly exaggerates the
effects of bad design. Click
here to view.