Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder but let’s face it, some things are just too beautiful to deny. The real question is “what can it do besides look pretty?”. If you’re only buying art than looking good is about all your investment will get you but what if you are creating a website for your business?
I can’t tell you how many sites I’ve seen that drop my jaw with their sheer brilliance and cosmetic layout but when I try to use it I find myself frustrated and confused. The worst is when I see an intro page just before I am able to view the real site. I either have to click on “Enter here” or play hunter and gatherer to find the magical box that appears for me to get in. If I was actually trying to view this site for their business I would have been long gone however I like to see how ridiculous and “clever” some of these designers get.
Thing is, it’s not entirely the designers fault. A lot of the times the client wants to have these mystery areas and “cool” graphics to try and make it different but there is no win in this situation. Save your magical content for a link in the menu that says something like “Magical Version” and go nuts with all of your fancy stuff there. This way you actually have a shot at making some money before your visitors drift off into wonderland. You have 5 seconds to captivate your audience. If you run Google ads you have to be sure your content coincides with your adWords text. Get some calls to action high up on the page so you can get some emails for a newsletter or clicks to another area of your site in hopes of catching a sale.
All in all, try not to outsmart your designs and check out what some of your competition is doing. If it’s good competition and they are successful chances are there was a lot of thought put into the composition of their website. At The Website Junction we don’t want to reinvent the wheel, we want to make that wheel spin smoothly and look pretty doing it.