Graphic Design is Over Rated
I always find it amusing when I hear graphic designers criticize a font for being boring or over used. The average person doesn't care if a font is boring or over used. All they care about is if they can easily read the text done in the font.
Much of the same is true with Web design. All the average visitor to a commercial Web site cares about is if the design easily lets them get to the information they want. With the exception of a artistic or graphic designer's site, the average visitor really does not care much if the design exhibits outstanding creativity or is beautiful.
It is far more important for a site to be visually inoffensive than it is for it to be a contender for a graphic design award. Rather than waste effort in producing Web sites that are beautiful, commercial Web site owners should concentrate on developing content that influences visitors to buy from them.
Big Screen Little Screen
We are seeing some big extremes when it comes to video screens. 50 and 60 inch plasma screens are readily available. Now we are seeing a lot of hype on video for cell phones. While it might be interesting to see a TV show in the palm of your hand, I can't imagine someone wanting to make a habit of this. Cell phones are great in that they let you make a phone call from anywhere. Yet the amount of features that are being piled on to cell phones just make you wonder: Why? Just because it can be done? And while participating in video on phones may allow you to piggyback on the hype, it is not a good strategy for the long run.
Convenience or Effectiveness
I have made a conscious decision to send out a hard copy newsletter via U. S. mail. I have always felt that at the very least someone will have to physically handle the newsletter, look at it and then throw it away. At that point they will have seen the company name and I will have achieved one of the goals of the newsletter.
Lately I am reconsidering creating an E-mail newsletter. It would be much easier in terms of sending it out and I could send it to a lot more prospects and clients. The bad part is how easy it would be to block or discard it without any human intervention. Yet E-mail newsletters appear to be gaining in acceptance while hard copy newsletters are becoming a very rare item.
I will probably do both for a while and see what happens. I'm sure that some of my audience would prefer the hard copy, some would prefer the electronic version and some will not read it no matter which I do. Now if I could have a fool-proof way of finding out who is who.
You Can Never Pay Too Little
I had the unfortunate experience of speaking to a business owner who had a Web site that was not bringing in any business. Of course she built the site herself. With just a brief look, you could tell why. The layout and navigation on the site was just too confusing. Her products and pricing should sell well if it was presented right. Yet she could not convince herself that it would be worth the investment to get the site done by a professional.
All I could think of is that you can never pay too little for a poorly designed Web site. Even if it was done for "free" by the kid down the block or your nephew, if does not serve its purpose, you pay dearly in discouragement and lost opportunity.