This was a fun project. At the beginning of every design or redesign project I ask what’s the audience for this web site. For Pony Party Place the audience is families with young children. Research showed unanimously that children respond best to cartoon web sites. This is my first cartoon-style web site and I had a blast with it. I purchased a stock cartoon pony, but the rest of the cartoon images I either created in Photoshop or got from free clip-art sites. I also did an on-site photo shoot at one of the parties, which, by the way, looked like one of the best kid birthday parties ever.
Do you like animation or flashy motion effects on a web site? In general, I don’t. 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.
I detest advertising. Advertising invades our mind space without asking permission. A web site with animated advertising reminds me of Mexican jumping beans! Another annoyance is the pop-up that suddenly blocks what I’m reading, usually asking me to sign up for something. I definitely won’t thanks to your annoying pop-up.
I do like:
- Slide shows that I can control
- Embedded videos when they are relevant, make me laugh, or teach me something. Video should be high quality and embedded on the page, don’t make me click to another site to watch it.
If you’re going to put something flashy on your site, 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).
One of my all time favorite web sites is David Lebovitz, Living the Sweet Life in Paris. Lebovitz is an all star pastry chef. His web site/blog has fabulous food photos (I’ve included an example here). The images are superb – beautiful, professional photographs that instantly tell you this guy is serious about food and food quality. He uses those gorgeous photos to illustrate his various culinary adventures with ingredients and funky kitchen gadgets.