Adapt or die?
The web changes constantly. What is cool and “hip” one day is “so yesterday” the next.
Not every company is in need of the cutting edge, at all times. Your website doesn’t have to blow the minds away of everybody, it has to serve a purpose. It has the be the billboard that ultimately brings your company business. However, here are some tips to keep yourself from being left behind.
Plan for the future
One thing that we get a lot of is the whole “Phase based web development”. This can work for your organization, if you plan to actually complete your phase cycle. 9 out of 10 times, a poor planned phase process leads companies into never achieving the goals they originally want. A lot of this comes from the high cost of a good website, and I know companies and developers like myself are to blame, however we product good quality for a reason.
A great web sales person I met once said his #1 piece of advice for all incoming leads was “Don’t fix the car if you can’t afford to put gas in it”. I think I have shared this quote before, if not written a blog post about it. Create a good phase process, and include marketing in there, so that when Phase I is over you leave yourself in a position to not get to Phase II.
To Cross Browser or to Not Cross browser? Is your target marketing using Internet Explorer 7?
While planning for the future, think about web technologies. There are many languages that us developers use, and versions of those languages. For example, CSS 2 and CSS3. CSS 3 is not brand new, but it is the newest player in changing the way the web works and how users experience it. As Adobe Flash loses popularity, CSS3 is gaining popularity, however it is not 100% cross browser compliant. That being said, I think that many companies that have the target market that fits using a higher-end solution, because 99% of their target market are using browsers that support CSS3. The same thing goes for generic viagra sale HTML5.
This past week alone, I was sitting behind a designer who designed an amazing slideshow effect. I knew right off the bat, it could not be accomplished in IE7. We had a long conversation, and decided to pitch the client on a solution that would be revolutionary and cool, but not compatible for IE8 and below. Is it a good call? Yes.
Do not do it because its “cool right now”. Do it because it is right.
We see trends all the time in design and development across the internet. At this very moment, a trend called “parallax” has been sweeping development teams. Is it a new thing? No, not at all. What is it? It is easily described as layered elements moving at different speeds. More impressively, when those speeds are relative to lets say, your mouse scrolling down the page. Movements, Images, etc. are triggered by scrolling, and/or page location. My favorite example, biased because I own a 1969, is Beetle.com. Let the page load and scroll down. Cool, right? Except if you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t have known there are easily at least 20 other examples of the same effect. Its cool, but already old.
So does this make sense for your business? Are you going to run out the door and find the first person that can create you a cool parallax website? You probably shouldn’t. Be innovative, think of something new, don’t follow a bandwagon when you can create your own.
Adapt or die?
Yes and no. If the last time your website was touched was 1999, please find someone to redesign it.
If your website was designed by your nephew who was in High School, and just learned what Photoshop was, please find someone to redesign it.
If your website brings you leads, traffic, and people love it, but its not “cutting edge”, its okay all those websites will be outdates next week anyway.
Side Note: companies that update, maintain, and keep cutting edge websites, probably have the target market for it. I speak on behalf of small business and persona websites, not large organizations.