Being the Sales & Marketing person for our web design company means fielding inquiries for those seeking web design & web redesign services: our advertising’s goal is to drive prospects to our website and compel them to contact us for more information or meet to discuss their web design needs. If Venus and Mars align and the client’s goals are in line with our value proposition, we’re in business.
Furthermore, another goal of our web design firm is to NEVER have one of our web designs appear on Vincent Flanders’ http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com. Prior to this happening, I would sooner go on American Idol and let Simon abuse me in front of millions. The reason for this rant is the result of a lead that recently came to us and is titled;
Does your Website Compel or Repel?
The caller in question asked us to provide a proposal for a new website creation project; the website’s audience would cater to the client’s colleagues and patients. The prospect knew exactly what he wanted, with the focus of the website and Home Page on the following 2 elements;
i. A music file of the song ‘Zippadeedooda’
ii. A flash element of Tinker bell, stardust and a butterfly making their way across the Home Page
At this point, I was thinking of calling Vincent Flanders myself to let him know he’d have a new addition for ‘The Worst Websites of 2007’. If such a thing as the ‘Web Police’ existed, I’m confident they’d arrest the web design firm that actually created what the prospect was asking for. We informed the prospect that his web design concepts were counter productive to his lead generation efforts and broke a number of web usability guidelines, as pointed out by Jakob Nielsen’s alert box relating to flash and usability . Although Mr. Nielson goes on to point out that Flash does have its place in web design and it has improved significantly from a usability stand since his original article in 2000, gratuitous use of Flash Media in most cases sabotages and repels web visitors rather than compel them to visit your site and take desired action.
The challenge faced with good web design is tempering the available technology with plain old common sense. Professional and Usable web design should not have to rely on gimmicks to attract and/or keep people on a website. All things being equal, intelligent web design and quality content will win out every time.