As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it is sometimes difficult to remain emotionally unattached to our websites. After all, they are extensions of our business and therefore of ourselves (even more so for solo entrepreneurs whose personal identities are their business identities), and the front-line in our attempt to control the way we are seen by the rest of the world.
It is natural, then, for us to become somewhat blind to the inevitable obsolescence of the design or technology of our sites. But we must remain vigilant against the creep of mediocrity! We must evaluate our websites with a critical eye, and eliminate anything that might be boring, old or broken. But what should we look for? Stay tuned, and I’ll give you some pointers.
The Blessing and Curse of Animations
Back in the early days of web design, everything was static. Then came animated gifs, and lo the Internet was filled with obnoxious dancing rodents (anyone remember the Hamster Dance?). Then Flash animation came along and made it possible to have websites crammed with flashy whiz bang stuff. Suddenly everyone needed to have sites that looked like Transformers, unfolding themselves into new shapes every few seconds accompanied by what was sure to be an overly-loud auto-playing soundtrack.
Unfortunately, Flash wizardry went the way of the dodo as soon as everyone in the world started using a Flash-hating mobile device, not to mention it was intrusive and annoying.
The backlash was years of mobile-focused design which eschewed animation, from which we are only just now emerging. A new focus on user experience has revealed that subtle animation used sparingly, dramatically improves visitor mood and engagement.
The long and the short of all this is that you need to find the animation sweet spot. Too much animation is overbearing, none is boring.
This one can be hard to give quick pointers on, because it’s such a subjective thing, but there are a few semi-universal concepts you may find useful.
One is consistency. No matter what your design is, make sure that it is implemented consistently across the entire site. Consistency not only looks better, it increases the positive nature of the user experience as well.
Is your site one big mass of text? Boring! Use big images, the more personality the better. They scale great across devices, and you know what they say about what a picture is worth.
Oh yeah, use icons! These also boost both your design and user experience.
Video For The Win
Since a video is like thousands of pictures stitched together, it must be worth a novels worth of words. Plus, a well-made video is one of the least boring things you can put on your site. Place it prominently on your home page, and rest easy that you staved off residency in boring-town for another moment.
Want to make sure that your site makes people gasp in awe at how engaging it is? Contact the Solamar team!