Internet users are more and more sophisticated these days and aren’t granting businesses any slack when the web site is less than professional. The Boston Globe article When Bad Web Sites Happen to Good Restaurants highlights common complaints people make about restaurant web sites. Those complaints apply to all web sites so I’ve made a checklist.

Common Complaints

  • Flashy animation is annoying because it wastes time downloading and can freeze a computer with low memory
  • Out of date information earns scorn and derision
  • Background music, especially droning techno
  • Difficult to find information, such as location and phone number
  • Stock photography, people recognize and don’t respect it.
  • Amateur photos, amateur photos are characterized by one or more of the following:
    • pixilation – caused by not knowing how to size a photo for the web
    • blurry image – caused by a shaking camera or using a low resolution photo from a cell phone
    • bleached out or murky images – caused by not knowing how to properly light a photograph
    • poor composition (distracting backgrounds, for example)

Firefly BBQ

An Annoying Restaurant Web Site

I’m sure the food at Firefly’s Bar-B-Q is great, but their web site is annoying.

  • The splash screen makes for an extra click to get to the information. And the flying insect animation seems juvenile.
  • Even though the looping music on the home page has a good beat, I can’t stand listening to it over and over and it’s driving me crazy when I click between this page and other pages, or leave the home page open in the browser.
  • Confusing navigation. One menu with drop down sub menus would be easier to follow.

I’m Looking for a Good Restaurant Web Site

I wanted to post an example of a good restaurant web site. After looking for over an hour, I’m going to give up for now. I’ll keep looking and when I find one I’ll post it. In the meantime it’s curious why all the restaurant web sites I looked at are so bad. I believe the core reason is the restaurant business is a tough one. An independent restaurant doesn’t make a huge profit so they might skimp on spending a lot on a web site.

A Better Web Site for a Small Business is Possible

The challenges for any small business that wants a web site are the cost, keeping up with changing trends, and updating information quickly. A good web designer can help you by building your site in affordable stages and guiding you towards results that are professional and usable.

Analysis by Smart Alice Web Design & Photography, smart web design for businesses who want a unique and effective presence on the internet.

Copyright 2011, Alice Gebura, All Rights Reserved.

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