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What The Heck Were They Thinking?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Debra

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 09:56 AM

Ever come across a website that prompted you to have one of those “what the heck were they thinking when they built this site” kind of thoughts?

That’s what came to mind when I tried to shop yesterday at a store that also has a bricks and mortar location here in town.

The site had a flash intro page that went for about 90 seconds. Click as I might, I could not find the “skip the intro” link anywhere and was forced to watch the commercial. My eyes were a blur…..

And when I finally got into the site, (and my eyes refocused!) the navigation bar was so generic I had to click a couple of times to find the department I needed. When I found it, I had to click again (2x) to see a photo and description of what I wanted. I felt like I was on a scavenger hunt!

Good thing their bricks and mortar store doesn’t make me watch an infomercial before I enter the store – or hide the merchandise when I get there. They wouldn't have me as a repeat customer.

Online stores shouldn’t be too different from their street counterparts. If you’re designing a website, make it easy for a person to enter and find what they are looking for. Technology should NOT overshadow the basic message of your site.

#2 Jill

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 10:12 AM

They probably weren't thinking at all.

They knew they needed a Web site and hired some flashy ad agency to create it. Neither company probably knows anything about the Web and only started to get online over the past year or so.

Eventually they'll figure that the Web sucks and they really don't need a Website anyway because they get no visitors, etc.

I wonder how many sites have gone under for that very reason.

Jill

#3 deborah2002

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 10:12 AM

Magnolia,
Oh yes! I see many many sites that are just mind-numbingly bad. If you'd like to take a look at some, this site is hilarious!

http://webpagesthatsuck.com/

The guy who runs it is a riot...I'm not designer, I just pop in every now and then for a good laugh!



deb :upsidedown:

#4 Debra

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Posted 07 August 2003 - 10:40 AM

I still shake my head when I come across websites that look like the "bad site" I found yesterday. You'd think common sense would tell the owner it wasn't customer friendly.

I bet half the people who visit abandon this site after a couple of clicks. The site owner then thinks the site is a failure and the Web is a non productive advertising and sales medium for his business. That kind of feeling becomes viral pretty quick.

The next person who designs or optimizes this site will have their hands full trying to win back the trust erroded by the first design company.

#5 Mel

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 10:41 AM

Yes but sometimes pages that can be really bad for business can look really good.

I am reminded of a site which was beautiful to look at, had lots of great features and content, but had one big drawback - the users did not seem to be able to find the menu system which was cleverly hidden right across the page half way down.

Result? 90% of the visitors left from the page they arrived at in less than two minutes. Not exactly good for business.

Still that way AFAIK, the owner did not want to ruin her beautiful site by sticking an obvious menu along the left hand side, even though there was a blank spot in just the right place. :)

#6 Scottie

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 10:54 AM

I ran across a site last week that not only had a splash page leading to a homepage with very little information, but also interior splash pages (with uninspired stock photography that did not really relate to their products) that preceded the "real" page for each category.

Top that off with marketing-speak hype and I never did figure out exactly what the company was selling or why I might want it!

#7 GeordieSEO

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 09:36 AM

the same thought runs through my mind (with lot's of expletives added) everytime I have to look at a website produced where I'm currently working.... :)

No wonder I've started smoking more

#8 compar

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 10:04 AM

Eventually they'll figure that the Web sucks and they really don't need a Website anyway because they get no visitors, etc.

Before they get to this point I think they represent a great potential for business for SEO people like ourselves. In fact I was recently contacted but such a company to do SEO work on a HTML version of a web site that was originally all FLASH.

The sad part of this story is that they are so in love with the Flash that they haven't taken that site down. They registered a new domain for the HTML version and that is what we optimized. The final part of the sad story was they then suggested that we simply use the HTML version for the search engines and immediately redirect all visitors to the Flash site. You'll be glad to know I told them I would not do it and eventually talked them out of the idea.




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