cheesy, but effective?
I just added a new feature to a site last night, and added a link on the front page with a flashy "NEW" [absak.com] graphic next to it... italic bold red letters with a yellow 'flash' behind them. The rest of the page (and site) are fairly subdued, graphically, so the tacky little "NEW" graphic stands out.
"Kinda cheesy" I thought, but when I check the stats this morning, the new page is one of the top 5 most requested files for the last 12 hours...
Anyone else notice this startling sort of effect when using relatively tasteless graphic accents? What sort of images have you found are most effective?
The war between aesthetics and effectiveness! Reminds me of a site where some items are featured on sale for various periods. We barely saw an up-tick in purchases until I made the "SALE" graphic bright red and flashing -- my client made me do it :( It worked.
I've noticed the same thing. When I run sales I put the items on one page. Next to the link to that page I use yellow background/red text "sale" graphic and it really seems to draw people in. I think on my next sale run I will try one week without "tacky graphic" and one week with just to see the difference but I believe you are right on the nose.
> made the "SALE" graphic bright red and flashing
Awful, isn't it? But it does seem to bring in the traffic. *sigh* I figure, I can live with the lack of taste, as long as I keep the graphics fairly small...
I wonder if I should make our sale graphic blink? *ugh*
Tacky is best!
I have found that most users seem to have no taste what so ever!
I get comments from people about how much they like certain stuff which is puke to look at, generally what ever you think looked cool 2 years ago seems to be what joe public likes now.
When trying to entice users into a paticular area of the site a bright, eye catching images (eye catching in the barbed wire catching sense) seems to pile em in.
Whats the thing that stands out most on a really nice laid out site? A tacky gross graphic.
There's one technique I use to get images to pop. It's particularly useful if a graphic has ever been in print -- aince once it's been in print, the full color gamut of what can be displayed on screen has been chopped off by a trip through CMYK color space.
So, I always put those images into Photoshop and crank up the "saturation" slider. It's amazing how much brighter things can get.
Sometimes I even think I get the visitor's attention without making anything blink!
>the thing that stands out most on a really nice laid out site? A tacky gross graphic
I've found the 16-color palette to be a handy kit for colors that are tacky-but-eye-catching.
Also, irregular shapes draw the eye (but the "splatter" used in New or Sale is worn out) -try a parallelogram with odd angles or a trapezoid. Most web pages are built on rectangles, straight lines running at odd angles break the pattern. While I'm at it, for some reason arcs and circles just don't catch my attention that well, and "feathered" or washed out edges are artsy, but too sedate. I'd stay away from those.
I dunno, I'm using the traditional "starburst" background on this "new" graphic...
You'd think it would be tired and worn out by now, but I think on some level, most people have been conditioned to see the color red and/or a starburst background as something that leads to a "SALE" or something exciting and "NEW"... and everyone loves NEW exciting SALE items, right?
It's the K-Mart-ization of graphic design... I don't know whether to thank the 50s marketers who started it, or swear loudly at them.