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Solved: First Website - Modern or Flashy?


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30-May-2012, 02:03 AM #1
Unhappy Solved: First Website - Modern or Flashy?
I'm currently working on my first website project since the mid-90s, and I'm not completely sure how the world works anymore. So here goes...

Scenario:

My business partner, who is otherwise savvy, wants me to "perk up" the website I'm building for our company. He's not asking for a dancing banana gif or anything, but he does have some requests which I feel are tacky or anti-function. (A brick wall background, extra menus that expand on mouseover, etc...). He's even linked me other "professional" sites which do these things.

I only care about the site being clean and functional.

As it is, these are merely aesthetic opinions. Is there any data that you can provide me that shows an effect on website performance in relation to its level of loudness / bling-factor?

Thanks!

- Dave
www.gaslamphostel.com
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30-May-2012, 04:08 AM #2
An acquaintance just informed me that this is more a marketing issue than a technical issue. I think he's right. I'll keep this thread open for 24 hours (just in case there is a marketing tech out there). :P

So far, I've spent about 6 hours analyzing different sites through Alexa, but without any ability to isolate the variable of aesthetics...I don't think it will do me any good.
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30-May-2012, 05:13 AM #3
Content is king imho. If you have good content that is appropriate and readable visitors will stay on your site. If the content is hard to find or not particularly relevant or well written then in my experience their site visit time is short.

However, marketing is what a website is all about, look and feel is important too but content and readability should come first. If the site is too glitzy / cluttered it takes away from what you are trying to say.
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30-May-2012, 05:23 AM #4
Let's say a site is readable, and the content is good. Do you think that having a background image with a clashing color scheme would be the end of the world? ...that it would make only a negligible difference? ...or somewhere in between?

Off the top of my head, I can't honestly say that I've walked away from a site (or even felt anger at the designer) because it had a tacky brick wall background. However, maybe some people do. :P

I've managed to come up with a little useful data tonight though after finally stumbling across the correct search terminology. "Website Usability" has been helpful.
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30-May-2012, 07:01 AM #5
If he wants the background go for it. Maybe run it through an image editing programme and reduce the opacity a bit so it isn't too obvious?
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30-May-2012, 08:19 AM #6
That's what I ended up doing the first time I tried it. Those bricks didn't "pop" though...:P

So, it turns out that some guy named Jakob Nielsen has done some crazy research, including some interesting eyeball/brain monitoring as subjects are looking at websites. I'm pretty sure my answer is in there somewhere. Thanks for your lending me an ear Colin!
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30-May-2012, 02:09 PM #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Covenant View Post
Let's say a site is readable, and the content is good. Do you think that having a background image with a clashing color scheme would be the end of the world? ...that it would make only a negligible difference? ...or somewhere in between?
Not the end of the world but it might make me question the content I'm reading. The same goes for typos. If you can't use a modern day spell checker or grammar checker or do sufficient proof-reading *before* posting your content, why should I take your information seriously? I'm not talking about blogging here, but website content.

Given how much time it takes to create the content and get it published on the web, I would expect due diligence to make the presentation of that content as elegant and appropriate as possible. "elegant" doesn't necessarily mean "fancy" either.

Peace...
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