Is Your “Wow” Factor Confusing Your Website User?
You’ve just found a link on Google that appears to have the information you’re seeking or the product you want to buy.
You see the exact keyword you searched for and you click through, excited that you’re going to actually purchase that gizmo you’ve been wanting, or get that fact that’ll show your neighbor you know what you’re talking about.
Then you get to the page and you can’t even find the words that were in Google. You’re faced with a spinning something or other and a set of globes that when you roll over they turn into icons that you’ve never seen before! On top of that, there’s loud jazz music suddenly blaring at you.
Welcome to the “Wow” factor.
Agreed, I have described an extreme situation above, but it happens more often than not.
Too often the “Wow” factor can distract and confuse your visitor causing them to forget why they are actually at your site.
Too much emphasis on graphics and animation can cause your site to load slow, causing your visitor to leave because they are just not willing to wait that long for your site to appear.
Too much content on your home page can also cause problems. Too many choices of where to click dilute your central message and makes it difficult for your user to determine the focus of the page.
It may seem to be a good idea to have all of the important information about your business (phone number, hours, directions etc), on your home page, while including all the research material from your internal marketing development committee’s last ten reports, but it’s more likely to be confusing.
Then there are the costs of “Wow” factor.
Flash development, additional graphic design and custom photography can add more production time and therefore increase your project costs.
It doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. But ask yourself – is there bang for the buck? Does the use of animation and graphics for their own sake translate to support for the goals of your site?
Where to put your money? Towards the goals and user friendliness? Or towards the “Wow” factor which leaves them impressed, but not making contact? Hopefully a balance between the two: visuals supporting and enhancing your message, and content that makes your site more useful to your visitors.
The best “Wow” factor should be “Wow,” I finally bought that widget I was looking for!
Or “Wow,” I found the answer to my question!
Not “Wow,” what the heck is all this?????!!!!!!