Last week, our article “Tailor your Web technology to your visitors” urged businesses to ensure the graphics they include on their Web sites were suited to the users they were trying to attract. In response, TechRepublic members shared some of their own ideas on Web graphics with us.
“Simplify, simplify, simplify”
Ann Feeney, intranet facilitator for YMCA of the USA, contends that Web site designers should make sure they “simplify, simplify, simplify” when putting together Web sites.
“Have you ever looked at a Web page and seriously said, ‘Gee, I wish somebody would make this more complicated?’” said Feeney. “My own rule is that every single thing on a Web page should have a distinct purpose, and if I can’t come up with a content-related reason as to why something should be on a page, it goes.”
Dick Montgomery, with 21st Century Marketing Cooperative, designed the Web site with no graphics because he wanted:
- An “instantaneous load.”
- A subject map at the top of the site.
- Information only one or two clicks away.
- Documents to be downloadable across platforms.
- The site to fit in “all reasonable screen sizes.”
While Montgomery seemed pleased with his work, not everyone shares his opinions on Web design:
“I have been told by a designer that ‘My site sucks’ and that it needs animation and graphics to excite the reader,” he wrote. “Could it be he wanted to sell me something and thought I couldn’t do it myself?”
How one business chose their graphics
What do you do if your business can’t decide what graphics should be on your Web site? Jonathan Matthews solved this dilemma by asking each person working on Web development to turn in a list of design perspectives or suggested things they would like to see on the site.
When all of the ideas were submitted, the least popular ones were eliminated. Our member told us that the process took two weeks and development took another three months.
How about e-mail?
While we didn’t mention it in our article, one of our members took issue with the number of HTML-based e-mail messages. “Even more annoying for me than the overloaded Web pages is the overloaded e-mail,” wrote ddorrell. “Some have information I want, but it gets lost trying to deal with the graphics.”
What about TechRepublic?
Finally, George Trudel, director of Information Services for MIM Health Plans , offered this point to ponder: “While reading your article with great interest, I was continually distracted by the flashing graphic you have on this screen. I thought that was interesting!”
Do you pay attention to Web site graphics? What catches your eye when you visit a Web site? Has your business researched which graphics customers respond to most? Post a comment below or send us an e-mail.