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.
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Do you like animation or flashy motion effects on a web site? In general, I don’t, unless they provide added value to me. A scrolling or jumping animation might catch my eye for a second, but it takes less than a second to click to another web site that isn’t so irritating.

dancerI detest advertising. We all do, that’s one reason why TiVO is so popular. Advertising invades our mind space without asking our permission.  A web site with animated advertising reminds me of Mexican jumping beans!   Instead of getting eye strain, I’ll just click to another web site.

There are instances when motion graphics are useful, such as:

  • Slide shows that the user can control
  • Embedded videos when they are relevant, make me laugh, or teach me something. Make sure a video is high quality. Embed the video on the page, don’t make the visitor click to another site to watch it.

One of the keys to success, if you’re going to put something flashy on your site, is to give control to the visitor. I don’t want to passively sit while something runs. That’s why I always click Skip Intro (you know what I’m talking about).

Click to go to James Zabiela's web site.
Here’s a web site with moving graphics that I like.  James Zabiela is a DJ so it makes sense that his web site puts on a high tech show. I like this twist: instead of placing motion graphics against a static background, he puts motion graphics in the background and places static text over it. I also like the sleek and elegant music player he provides unobtrusively in the upper right corner.  The player lets me turn off the sound, if I would like to.  Give control to the visitor!

What’s Appropriate for You?

What is your message and do motion graphics enhance or undermine it? Know your target customer. Make the site comfortable for them. And, put them in control of the graphics.

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

Copyright 2009, Alice Gebura, All Rights Reserved.