Eye-catching websites are all over the internet and no doubt you’ve all been amazed and dazzled by certain features at one time or another be it animation, Flash effects or stunning graphics etc, but with that in mind, did you know exactly what those websites were for? Were you able to easily navigate around them or did their looks and features take priority over functionality?
The internet is a visual medium and inevitably, web designers will want to show off their creative skills which sometimes lead to websites being more about what the designer wants as opposed to what their customers need and although the site should be visually pleasing, it should also instantly tell visitors what it does without them having to guess or hunt for clues.
The primary purpose of all business websites is to advertise, build brand awareness, inform visitors and persuade them to take a particular course of action such as contacting the company or purchasing directly through the website itself, and whilst most manage to do this quite well, there are others that fail dismally.
To be truly effective, a visitor should know exactly what a website is for the moment they arrive on the landing page, and with only valuable seconds to capture a visitor’s attention, it’s important that those seconds aren’t wasted by through the use of Flash intros for example which tend to drive away a significant number of visitors well before any intro has fully loaded.
Highly creative features do have their place in web design but functionality should always be the priority with prominent menus on every page, easy navigation, concise copy and the site rendering perfectly in different browsers being just a few examples. As I said, the internet is mostly a visual medium and so evolves with the use of ever better eye-catching design, but this must never be at the expense of functionality.
Until next time.