The Internet is a very flashy place these days. There’s nearly no limit to what kind of graphic you can come across online and interactivity is all the rage. Things need to move on your website. There needs to be a pulse. Yes, but not exactly. The thing is that good website design is a proper synthesis of form and function; the combination of how your website looks with how easy it is to navigate and ultimately lead the user where you want them to go. What budding online entrepreneurs need to remember is that when selling and self-promoting substance should always take precedent over style.
The number one online entity out there in terms of power and influence is of course Google. It’s worth noting that despite the hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, despite the intricacies behind the scenes, and despite the array of services and add-ons and products Google provides, the homepage is nearly as humble looking as it was back in the year 2000. Twitter is the same way. There’s the sophistication of the modern age functioning as a free inter-device instant messaging tool, presented to us in the form of a simple homepage. Just like Google the folks behind Twitter can afford and are capable of doing much more to their homepage and beyond, but they don’t.
The argument can be made that they don’t have to be flashy because they’re giants, whereas start ups need to draw people into their websites with luring features and highly stylized fonts and colors. This is in part true, but what those who make such an argument fail to realize is that less is more if you aren’t used to harnessing the awesome power of “more”. “More” means more color and video and links, things that can easily overwhelm the senses of the amateur online content creator. You need to know about color contrasts, and the way eyes move around a webpage, before you begin embedding so many blinding buttons and options that users simply don’t know where to begin and give up before they start.
Stick to conservative amounts of content for newly arrived website visitors to choose from. Whether it’s a blogsite or a product or service you’re offering if your ultimate goal is for visitors to stick around long enough to either make a business decision or decide to return again, you need to invite them with sleekness and style but keep them with simplicity. There are many web design consulting firms out there who can help you out if your startup budget can afford their services. They can help you still have a homepage that pops while also calculating the right content arrangements to increase overall traffic and prevent a lack of clicks.
It’s tempting to go overboard on the gimmicks in website design because we all want to stand out. But sometimes, and perhaps especially these days when almost anything is graphically possible, tact is appreciated more than excitement. At the end of the day users simply want to use the Internet and use your website and what it has to offer. Do them a favor and make it as easy as it is exciting.