When creating a blog, remember: it’s not necessary to have a mind-blowing, game-changing layout. Usually, a modified template will do (you may have noticed, that’s what I’m using on this blog). This is especially true for anyone who’s not a Web Design expert. Why bother? Plenty of other things need attention (namely, the content).
The other day, I went to a Photoshop blog and, once the site loaded, loud Rock music started playing. I immediately closed the tab for two reasons:
- That’s the quickest way to stop the music
- You can’t teach me much about Photoshop if you don’t understand basic User Experience Design.
In fact, you can’t teach anyone much of anything if you don’t understand basic User Experience Design. All teachers should learn how people understand. Information Processing. Attention Theory. Cognitive Engineering. All very relevant subjects. You don’t need a degree in each but a primer helps.
What does loud Rock music have to do with Photoshop anyway? The only sites that should have music auto-playing are sites about music (even then, it’s debatable). It’s a better idea to give the user the option to control the music instead of auto-playing. It’s not a DVD; people don’t expect sound on the web. But if you insist on having music on your site, make sure the volume is below average or lots of people will immediately exit your site. Your bounce rate in Google Analytics will likely be much higher if the user feels overwhelmed upon entering your site.
Designers love to use the term, “Keep It Simple Stanford” (ha!) and the above is a prime example of why we should. Over-simplifying is not the answer but we must resist the tendency to complicate the subject matter by adding unnecessary bells and whistles to a web site. It just makes more sense.