Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is Your Website a Closet or a Display Case?

Which is it? Does your website behave like a closet or a display case? Our closets are the places with the doors that need to be opened to gain access to the things inside. We shield the unfolded sweaters on the shelves, the untamed sneakers strewn on the floor and the garments we no longer wear from all eyes. But, a display case invites all to see the treasures laid out before them.

What would be the point in going to an art gallery or museum if all the treasures were hidden behind closed doors and panels. Aren't display cases more inviting? Now, apply the same thinking to your website. Do you really want that art editor or agent to have to wait tap, tap, taping his or her foot while the doors open, the flash script runs, the gears twirl or the "LOADING" sign warns of a long wait for the viewing of your illustrations.

Why not give those editors and agents and art directors direct access to your open display case. When you send out a postcard or promotional piece with your website address you ask for a visit to your gallery. Keep the door open. Let the visitor see what is inside without having to unlock doors, open cabinets and stand on the doorstep waiting to gain access.

All those animations, bells, whistles, gears and toggles may be great if you want to play a game, or solve a mystery. But art editors are coming to that site listed on your promotional material to SEE your work and you may have only a minute or two to get their full attention.

I am guilty of "closet" mentality when it comes to my current website. So, for the next few hours, days, however long it takes I will be doing my best create a display case that invites, delights, and "works" for me.


Anonymous said...

Beautifully put Ginger!

For a while I had animations on my website, but I read that art directors don't like that. . .even small animations. If they have slow connnection it would be a bummer.

And it's like you said no one has the time or wants to wait for a page to load.

Thanks for this timely reminder Ginger. . .It's that time of year that I usually change my site.

Ginger*:)* said...

I read the same type of thing, Sherry. And I agree it is very true that ADs don't have much time to I will try to spare them some.

As much as I love the little animations and the fun kind of sound bits and other whirlygigs, I have been stripping them from my website as well in an effort to just get to the point.

Let us see your website redesign, Sherry, when you are ready.

Bron Smith said...

I agree with you, Ginger. On my Fun Maps USA web site, viewers can see the maps immediately, to catch their interest, then they can scroll down to see more if they want. If they want to look further, they can click on "Maps" to see the full inventory. Like the cover on a book, I think it's important to get the reader's attention as soon as the home page comes on the screen.

Kate said...

Uuugg...I feel guilty because my site is not even done yet! I guess mine is a "dead end"!

Rebecca Sweet said...

Ginger, this is great advice and something we all need to bear in mind. I look forward to seeing what you do with your site...and what you do with yours, Sherry, and everyone elses, too. I appreciate what we can all learn from each other.---and Kate, get that site up girl! I'd love to see more of your stuff.

Agyw said...

I will try heartily not to whine or overbear on this topic. But I'm computer challenged (ask poor forbearing Sherry!). Long story short there'd been much head garbage and little means, so I've done nothing more than buy my domain name.

Turning fifty was separating the dross in the crucible year for me. One of the goals is to finally learn html and build my website by years end. Still having difficulty wrapping my mind around it, so will more than likely disappear for a week or two and just immerse myself.

When I do, I will not only be keeping in mind your gentle reminder Ginger, but probably asking those willing to view my site on their computers and give tips before I go live. I'm having a few computer glitches (danged inherited puters!), now it's erasing all my files and preferences when Shut Off. After I get the issue resolved, I'll be attempting it-- wish me luck!


P.S. I detest those word verifications! It feels too much like a typing test, sheesh! *some of us are slightly dyslexic and mildly ADD, for crying out loud*

Ginger*:)* said...

Fear Not AGY. We are here to help. And guess what, you don't need to know HTML to create a website. If you have a Mac and subscribe, you can create a site with iWEB or if you are able to purchase a good software program like GoLive or DreamWeaver you have all the tools without the headaches. The headache factor with Dreamweaver is the price, but in the long run the product is worth the money.
There are also places like Yahoo and others that offer easy website building.

Once you get started ...come back and ask questions, you will always find a friendly Picture Bookie to hold your hand.