Sorry Dude…Your Website Sucks
You got a kick butt designer to build your website…it looks totally cool…it’s edgy…it has attitude.
Fantastic for you… but I can’t find anything.
One band’s homepage is a hot mess. The print is very small and hard to read…except the sponsor ads/logos…they are very clear. The band makes original music, but there isn’t a link to it or even a mention of it anywhere on the home page. On the “store” page (no, there isn’t a “music” page), all the other merchandise is listed before the CD…you must scroll to find the music. To be honest, if I had just stumbled upon this site, I’m not even sure I’d know off the bat that it was for a band. Another band site has a very artistic flair, but there doesn’t seem to be any more to it than the homepage. Turns out you have to pass the cursor over a weird little moving thingy off to the side in order to reveal the rest of the navigation buttons (and it’s really hard to do, BTW). Oh, and there’s nothing that tells you that’s what the weird little moving thingy is for.
The bottom line…it’s not enough that your website “looks cool”. It has to be functional as well and not just for the super computer literate. The average web surfer is only marginally computer literate. They know how to connect to the internet and they can point and click and check email…and that’s pretty much all they can do. I’m not only talking about seniors who are just discovering the magic of computers…I’m also talking about people my age and only slightly older (I, myself am 38, FYI). Your website should be designed with the assumption that whoever is going to look at it has zero patience (the very literate ones have even less patience with poor design) ,minimal knowledge about how to navigate the internet and have found your band site by accident and have no idea who you are. In other words, make it clean, organized, easy to read and navigate.
I’m no programmer, but I know my way around a computer and I’m really good at navigating the web…and poorly designed websites annoy the crap out of me. It should be very clear (and in a normal, reasonably sized font…save all the calligraphy and cursive stuff for your album cover, please) who you are, what you do and what you have available right on the homepage…with minimal scrolling needed. Unless I’m doing research for something I’m writing, I will not go searching all over a website to find what I’m looking for if there’s no clear path to it on the homepage, especially if I’m looking for the band’s music. If you’re making me work really hard to find it, you must not really want me to listen to it…or buy it…or tell my friends about it. If it’s for sale through a third party, and you’re not giving me a direct link to that site…you are poop out of luck.
Web design can be likened to automobile design. It’s great that the car is sleek, stylish, super modern and aerodynamic…but if you have to remove the front end of the car in order to change the battery, the design is simply no good. A website can be easy to read and navigate and still “look cool”. Your fans (and potential fans) will thank you for it. Check out these sites to get some good looking, functional design ideas.