fireWeb design has really gone crazy. Master web designers across the globe are consistently outdoing themselves with new and innovative designs. These designers are amazing artists and coding wizards. Some of the styles and effects they have come up with, from a design and implementation standpoint, are nothing short of astonishing. With that said, they are not always a good thing. Let me explain.

While having the monitor scroll right when the user drags the mouse down, or having the entire screen fly in from 10 different directions or having a bunch of insane hover effects may look amazing to a designer or artist, they can be confusing and annoying to the average user who could care less about how that magic was created. When running a business or non-profit, there is a fine line between professional and effective and over-done and annoying. Remember, you are trying to portray your image to your audience, not a small handful of designers and artists. Sure, the site may win a bunch of awards (we have won our share) from designers and coders, but these people are not your market.

Think of your website “image” like the packaging of a product. It has to be attractive, convey the right image, capture the user’s attention and be easy to navigate and get information from. Imagine you’re walking through your favorite store and a product catches your attention. You approach to take a look at the box to learn more. When you get to the box and try to pick it up, it flips over automatically and hovers waiting for you to reach out. As you decide whether you should even touch this thing it flips over again and sits on the shelf. You stare at it with a confused look and decide it is too much effort, with your busy schedule, to bother learning more. The products effort to be so unique has actually confused you, caused you anxiety and created to much thought without enough easy to find information. The packaging initially grabbed you but the execution confused you. You end up grabbing the plain box next to it and walk out.

Always remember that a bad web design will kill your message and destroy your image. An over-done web design will win you awards but will probably confuse the average user and over-complicate the process of capturing your audience’s attention and keeping it. The perfect solution is to find that balance and have your web image be professional, clean, attractive, EASY to use and navigate and efficient for your most AVERAGE web user. Your target should not have to “re-learn” how to navigate a website to learn about your products or services or have a neurological overload from all of the CSS and JavaScript “magical effects”. The fact is, nearly all of your best clients and customers are not web designers or techies. They are just regular folks looking to do regular business.