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once upon a time I would put a right hand menu stripe down a resizable page and think I was clever...I used to think rollovers were cute
now rollovers mostly just seem banal, and usually fairly amateur...flash usually just makes me want to sign up for the carton channel to see animation done well...I get a kick out of how efficient a:hover is...and anything done superbly is always a thrill...
but is there anything that can still make most of us go "wow!"...or is the web getting old and fat?
Probably one of the problems behind the Web now is that Web designers and owners tried for that "wow" thing rather than just providing informative content that attracted becuase of the content itself.
"Wow" as you say gets old quick. Plain, informative content, well structured, and most importantly, quick, is what most people are looking for.
For me at least, its been too many gimmicks, not enough useful content...
For some reason the web seems to be full of either high end "look is'nt this site cool!" or "Look at my informative content even though it looks dull" So when I find a site that looks cool and has excellent usability and content... I go WOW!
I always am impresed with professionalism - for instance www.2advanced.com (flash site) is so detailed i.e reflections in shades etc. The site is'nt breathtaking in its content but as far as eye candy goes...WOW ;)
I do not believe it is exactly your point. Something that will look good for one audience will not for the other. For instance I think that the 2advanced.com web site is horrible and barely usable. I is just my opinion, for what an opinion is worth.
On top of this It is almost impossible to find on directories or SEs even when we type "2advanced.com".
I dont know how much they spent on this site, but it was just like shoving the money in a bottle an throwing it in the ocean. Clients hire me to put theyre site in full view, not to develop them expensive gadgets they will be alone to toy with.
An example of great looks AND content in the movie world would be the original STAR WARS trilogy.
Not yet, I think that the initial web initiatives were controlled by two groups.
You had the graphic artist playing with all the new toys available and trying to make a splash for him/herself on the clients dime. These types were responsible for the "wow, gee, look at this totally gorgeous but useless web site".
The other type was the total geek who really had the mindset of "GUI's are for babies, I use line commands". These folks could make the site do something useful (proccess the credit card!), but really had poor to none design skills (I love those search pages with 8 dropdowns and instructions on how to use Perl operators to refine results). In a sense, these guys were as facetious as the artist bunch.
Anyhow, it is now somewhere in the middle of the two extremes with profit being the only "wow" worth pursuing.
This means the web designer needs to understand business! I'd say that's the quiet revolution that we are seeing today. And it has barely begun.
It's the behind-the-screen stuff that I find really intriguing. Here CSS, scripting (mostly perl), php, and XML (others?) are building up quite an arsenal.
Erm, no my point is that as other people have mentioned there needs to be a balance,
On one hand you need quick easy access to content on the other you need to back up that content with a visualy appealing site. This way you provide the user with everything.
I will not go shopping in a run down wooden shed simply because its easy to find. I would rather search around a few shops finding a store that not only has the things i want to buy but one that is also enjoyable to shop in.
If you understand your target audience then I don't see any reason why you can't give them the content they want in a nice neat package.
As regards to the 2advanced site I did'nt say it had fantastic content i.e easy to read, search engine friendly etc. I just meant visually and technically it is very good. It is aimed at people who want a trendy look and have bucket loads of money - at that level it does very well.
Target Audience - Who are you trying to please?
this ought to be the wild frontier...the place where the exciting things happen...and yet most of what I see appears to be about as exciting and experimental as the average TV soap
one of the reasons for posting was being asked to compare a couple of punk music sites...both had designs that looked pretty much like altavista...hardly punk..."which looks more professional" the designers were asking
pages full of eye candy bore me to tears...partly because style with no substance is inherently dull...but largely because of the paucity of artistic inspiration that is shown
I used to work for a contemporary art production company...I've worked for some of the most cutting edge people in the music biz...I've seen creative inspiration of the highest order, and I don't feel I'm seeing it on the web...I'm seeing too much copying of what is already established
there is stuff we can do with a web site that is entirely new...interactive...dynamic and involving people in a way that was never possible before...and what I see presented as being "cool" seems to aspire to being second rate daytime TV
yep...it's provocative...I feel in the mood to prod a few people...and though I might warm up for it here :)
My colleague called me over yesterday to look at an Java applet based racing game with pseudo 3D graphics that would have put my old Amiga to shame.
To be honest just as a limited number of notes doesnt mean music gets boring I dont think the web is or will ever get boring. I still see sites in plain HTML and graphics that make me go "ooh that looks cool".
Yes, I know what you mean, I still see a magazine ad or graphic art logo on the side of a passing truck that makes me stop short, but they are few and far between. I think that's what Eric is getting at, finding that edge on the web doesn't happen often either, not on the rendered page anyway. What's going on behind the page is still exciting, though.