July is here, signifying half the year is gone already. It also brings to a close The Big Birthday Celebration promotion. That means it’s time to redesign the website home page once again.
Throughout the years I’ve managed my proprietary website, I have brainstormed fantastic and fantastical ideas for my home page. Fortunately, my web host/web designers have usually talked me out of my more hare-brained (and lame) concepts. It’s both encouraging and humbling to have subject experts to save me from myself.
Given my background in both art and writing (and the related ad design and conceptualization), one would think designing web pages would be a natural extension. But, just like a summer blockbuster movie, my ideas are all glitz and no meat. The web pages I would design are not bad, they are just not effective enough. Entertaining without anything memorable.
Many of the “best” commercials (those ones you see on the Super Bowl that the companies spend millions for a half-minute) are often lauded for this cute scene or that cool effect…and few people can remember which brand it was (it was Volvo, no Audi, no…). My site contains some entertaining areas (more, as my readership grows and gets involved), but the main purpose of the home page is to get people where they want to go.
Some people come here to check out the books. Some come here to read the blogs. Some come here by mistake. In all cases, I should be making it easy for them to find what they are looking for with as little effort and confusion as possible.
I enjoy seeing a pretty face as much as anyone, so I still want my home page looking nice. It just doesn’t need to be designed and executed by Industrial Light and Magic…or me, for that matter.
I’ll offer my suggestions and my mock-ups of possible layouts, but in the end I go with what the designers suggest (with an occasional tweak). That’s what I pay them for and why I have more confidence in them creating my home page than me.
A man’s got to know his limitations.