A wise man once said to me “Tom, to inspire the masses you need to have an enemy”. So I searched and today I have found my enemy. So join me in glorious conquest against my nemesis: poor web design. The internet is a huge place so it should stand that any internet goer has seen sites that are jaw-droppingly bad. And, as critiquing web design is part of what I do, I am here to lay down a few basic laws that should be common sense but are strikingly not considered.
Headaches are Bad
Generally speaking, giving your potential customer a brain-exploding migraine is a bad idea. This takes us to DPGraph. My expert advice is not to look at it for too long if you value your frontal lobe. There is also a major issue with color on this page. The website itself looks like what would happen if you watched “2001: A Space Odyssey” through a kaleidoscope. This site is the visual version of bad techno.
So as I outlined above there are two major issues with this site: the moving background and the overuse of color. For starters, just about anything moving on your site with the exception of scrolling news reels is a bad idea. You want to get the message of your site across without distracting users with stupidly fancy imagery. Color is the next big problem. Around a decade ago, an episode of the hit show Pokemon was banned for giving 80 some children seizures. While not hospitalizing children is a good goal to shoot for, your website should go above and beyond here. It should be classy and modest in terms of colors. My advice: pick two major colors that compliment and work them into a theme, its simple and welcoming but not distracting. You can add in some minor accessory colors just don’t go overboard.
Imagine, if you will, that you are listening to some music on any of the streaming music sites while surfing the web. Next thing you know your experience is interrupted by a voice demanding your immediate attention. While gaining this attention might seem nice to sellers, the truth is that you have actually just angered and turned away a potential customer. Now that user has to sift through his open tabs and find the one page that is trying to pitch a product to him/her. It breaks the concentration of the users, interrupts their thoughts, forces them to go get your video to shut up and turns them off to your site.
The web-goer is generally fickle and easily irritated by inadequacy. In addition, no consumer likes to feel like they are having information shoved in their face. The best way to pitch to a consumer is to do it without them knowing you just pitched them something. You know what exemplifies this? Choice. Video is fine on your site, just make sure that the consumer has the choice to watch it or not. And if they choose not to, that the information stated in the video is readily available elsewhere. Seems like common sense yet many sellers try to differentiate themselves and grab the attention of users with this awful tactic.
Web design is a tricky animal, it takes a lot to make a site that is both visually pleasing and gets the message across. The point of this post was to just point out a couple of obnoxious trends and why they are a bad idea. The web is all about differentiation, but there are wise and stupid ways to go about this. Creating strong content, being active socially, monitoring your brand, and designing a modest and easy to navigate (I know it doesn’t sound like it, but this actually differentiates you from 95% of the sites on the web) website are all good ways to differentiate yourself. Forcing users to listen to you, drowning them in a color flood and giving them vertigo are better used to make people ridicule your site (some people are in to that).
My final thought is this: the very best way to get people to your site is to offer them value. Make it easy, simple and succinct. Give them content that means something and make it easy to find and customers will come. Seems simple enough right? Tell that to the rest of the internet.
Since I have no funny videos for this post I am opting to just plug in this awesome auto-tune. I would suggest checking out that channel, they do some really cool work and I would like them to take me out to dinner (but seriously I think they are a very talented group putting their skills to good use). Happy distraction, and if you wanna see the original “double-rainbow” video, take a peek, its worth it I promise: Double-Rainbow OMG!