01 June 2009

This post stems from a nice conversation I had with a poster in the commentary section. This is a conversation I’ve had in various forms with clients as well so I thought it might be good to bring up.

Many people are under the impression that a site is more “advanced” if it has more stuff on it, moving stuff.... stuff that links you to other places... sound effects... animated buttons.. CSS, PHP ASP any number of letter combinations will do. Fact is unless you have a reason, and it better be a good one, to load a site down with anything but basic html,you are just making a crappy site. “Advanced” is not technology, or not just technology I should say. “Advanced” means fast functional and easy to use and find things.

EVERYONE wants animation on their sites again, after a decade of shying away after the flash heavy sites of the mid-90’s. The reason is simple... most people don’t know what FLASH is anymore, even though they see examples of it all the time, modems are so much faster, you don’t wait for 10 minutes to see a 700K animation that only tells you, in the most round-about way possible, you’ve reached the site you were looking for. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

I am all for animations where they work well, and I’m all for programming solutions where they do the best job getting the info to the browser faster. But too many people start their list of needs now with I want “a flash intro” or an “animated gallery” before they even know what the content of the site will be.

It’s the content that decides what the site needs, not the tech. Otherwise you are just making a version of Homer Simspon’s web page, which was so bogged down with animated gifs and no content, that it crashed the internet. (Old episode.. if you’ve seen it you know what I mean!)

As in science, the simplest solution is almost always the correct one.

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