Global competition in Business 2.0 requires an effective online presence, yet many (most?) organizations waste thousands of dollars on website design and administration. What are among the worst decisions to be made? If webmastering (webmistressing?) is not among your areas of concern, please share this with someone else.
Here is an excerpt from an article co-authored by Christine Lagorio and Eric Markowitz for Inc. magazine. To read the complete article and check out other valuable resources, please click here.
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Designers, are you guilty of creating information-overload homepages or building the “unwelcome screen?” The experts are here to save you.
Flash is cool, right? And that lovely welcome screen and information-rich homepage your client wanted are just perfect. Or are they? We talked to six top designers and creative directors about their Web design pet peeves. What makes these pros cringe might surprise you.
[Here are the first four of seven brief but insightful commentaries. To read the complete article and check out other valuable resources, please click here.]
1. Putting your brilliant design first.
“Whether or not the site is designed elegantly, what really matters to me is whether the navigation is intuitive, and whether the information is organized well. Design, for as much time as we spend on it, if it’s all about the visual elements, that can quickly get someone out of that site. I always try to focus on making sure the information makes sense before putting mouse on screen. Plan ahead. Get the answers before laying anything down. Get together with your project manager and design team, and get all the info from the client before start designing. It’s also important to get the navigation in front of people to make sure everyone can get that information quickly. Be constantly testing. Only then should you build the beautiful elements, the design of the site, around that. If that’s not there the site can be considered a failure. “
Andres Orrego, associate creative director of Chowder Inc. in New York
2. Going overboard with Flash.
“Flash is certainly a pet peeve. It has its place, for sure, but since the dot.com bust we’ve come a long way. Today our customers want to be found – they expect to be found – but what does that mean for us? We need to set the stage for search engine optimization, so we need to stay away from Flash. When I see a site overly done, you ask yourself, does it really make sense for you to do that in Flash? No.”
Antonio Navarrete, president and creative director of SilentBlast in Toronto
3. The unwelcoming welcome screen.
“I hate everything about welcome screens. By clicking a link, I’ve already said that I want to go to visit your site, so there is no need to show me a ‘welcome’ screen with a quote. In fact, it is almost insulting to call it a ‘welcome screen’ – I’d almost respect it more if it was called a here-is-an-ad-so-we-can-make-money screen. As it is, this intermediate screen just delays users from accessing your content and gives them an opportunity to leave before they ever arrive.”
Andrew Cafourek, co-founder and digital lead of A022 Digital in New York
4. The boggling homepage.
“People who are using your site, buying from your site, are not going to stay there or buy from you due to your awesome design. Most homepages are completely overwhelming. There is so much there – people try to communicate everything to everyone, and the real content gets lost. That’s a design disaster. It should tell people in three to five seconds who you are and what you do. That’s it. We have a design philosophy that we take from architecture: form follows function. When you are building a building, you want right angles and perfectly usable space. If you go to our homepage, you will see cleanliness and simplicity. I say this left and right, and my designers say it left and right: Websites have to breathe.”
Marvin Russell, creative director of The Ocean Agency in Chicago