I think in the discussion about "flashy websites"
we've overlooked something.
PHILIP MAK WROTE:
> But what about website visitors who become bored
> with a fast but plain website? Obviously there
> should be a balance between the two.
No matter how "flashy" a web site is, if it doesn't
suggest and deliver what the reader came for, they're
Yes, there should be a "balance" ...
The information should be presented
in such a way that it is:
* Positioned to the readers 'expectations'
* Easy to understand
This is a difficult challenge, and few web sites pull
Above all, graphics and 'design' should be transparant.
The reader should never be aware of the 'design' other
than having helped (or supported) the delivery of that
information for which the reader searches.
As soon as the reader is aware of the 'design' of a
site, their attention has been diverted. They're no
longer finding what they came for -- and the design now
becomes a barrier.
I would much rather get a compliment on the content of
the the site. When someone writes and says "I love the
little buttons, how do you do that" I know the design
has failed to move the reader through the message line.
They're distracted by the art or design.
The design of the web site has but one obligation to
fulfill: deliver the message clearly and effectively.
As I watch many, many people use the web and web sites,
I'm continually amazed at design features the designer
thought would be effective -- fail -- having distracted
or put off the reader.
It amazes me how certain devices almost guarantee
distraction of the reader's attention. Designers love
Watch a class of adult students "learning to use the
web" -- as soon as they hit rollover buttons they're
suddenly enfatuated with the action and become more
interested in making the buttons 'flash' than following
the message channel. They soon become bored with them
and click away or backbutton. The message, left behind,
Readers are very fickle animals. The least distraction
or failure of promise to deliver the desired
information causes instant diversion... "Nope, it's not
Watch as the uninitiated use your web site. Do they get
what they wanted? Do they get what you wanted them to
"What if they become bored" is not the question.
If they're eagerly gobbling up the message, and content
they came for, they won't get bored.
I don't usually use sigs in posts to this list out of
courtesy to the readers. However for the benefit of
the person who thought signatureless posts were "trying
to hide something" ...
Fred Showker, Editor/Publisher DT&G Magazine
Design, Typography & Graphics Since 1972
Online Design & Development Since 1985
Received on Sun Mar 05 2000 - 20:24:12 CST
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