A website that focuses too much on the latest whizz- bang technology and not enough on the needs of its visitors, does not serve your business well.
Now I'm not bashing technology, not at all. I love it. But I want to emphasize that it is not to be used for its own sake, but for a specific strategic purpose that supports your customers in making good decisions (to sign up for something, to hire you or to buy your products!)
Your website is used by human beings. Your customer probably doesn't care much about how complex the technology is or how wonderfully creative it can be. She wants your website to help her do what she came for, and that is to find useful information or a solution to her problems.
The trap here is that it's easy to figure out how technology works so it's tempting to give it a prominent role. It's more challenging to learn how your customers behave on the web and what's going on in their minds, so that you can lead them to make a decision in your favor.
The key is to do simple things and do them well. "Because I can" or "because it's possible" are not good reasons for doing something. "Because it's useful to my customers" is.
Take it from the pros. Look at the home pages of Microsoft and Dell, two heavy hitters in the field of computer technology. Both pages are clear, simple and easy to navigate with no sign of the latest bells and whistles. Maybe they're there in the background making things run smoothly, but the information these companies want you to understand and respond to is clearly in the foreground.
That's the way it should be if you want your visitors to feel welcome and encouraged to delve deeper into what you have to offer.
Copyright 2009 Maggie Dennison