In an effort to attract the most viewers for a web page, it would seem logical that the more items that draw the eyes’ attention one can place on a web page, the better. Load it up with blinking text, background music, and have as much information on the main page as possible, right?
Actually, this incredible abundance of THINGS on your website tends to not only distract from your product or service, but can actually drive away customers. Much like a solid handshake or a confident look in the eye, the first impression made through a website (which more frequently than ever has taken the role of the face of the company) is one that will last through the customer’s experience. Here’s some tips on some website design ideas that might sound good at first, but tend to throw the customer off.
1: Things that blink
There are many ways to make things blink on a website, and all of them tend to be distracting. If enough are used in conjunction with each other, it can even be painful to the eye (One example would be this Korean shopping site). As attention-grabbing as a blinking object might be, keep in mind that your website has a goal in mind, and that goal is likely reached through the customer reading the text in the body of your website rather than seeing a blinking image on the top. Please, think of their eyes.
2: Pictures, pictures, pictures….and even more pictures
As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words. With that in mind, write a short story, not an encyclopedia with the pictures that you put on your website. Pictures and graphics can be great aids in helping the customer understand your business as well as be generally attracted to the website (and thus be driven to want to understand your business), but when you have too many, it takes the eyes away from the things that are actually important. So lay off the employee outing pictures, the pictures of every widget that you sell, and photos of your stamp collection. Focus on images that will tell visitors about your company.
3: Keep it to one page!
One thing that might summarize this article is “Avoid Sensory Overload.” This applies to plain text as well. You probably have a lot to say about your business, but keep it concise on the front page. If you have too much stuff, be it images, text, or anything else, it begins to feel hard to use. The easiest way to avoid this, in addition to the two points I made above) is to not create the need for the viewer to scroll. That means that if you can’t see everything that’s supposed to be on the front page right when the front page loads, then you’ve got too much stuff. The web pages that you link to from the main page can be longer, but keep your web “face” concise. For example, you don’t need to scroll on the Google homepage. You can see everything there is to see on the first page (Tiny computers notwithstanding.)
Keep these tips in mind when you’re building your website or having it built for you. First impressions are important. Make sure yours isn’t painful to the eyes.