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Monday, December 19, 2005

How Much Do Advertising Agencies And Graphic Design Studios Know About Web site Design?

Advertising agencies and design studios often seem to create web sites for themselves that are very flashy and creative.

So what does a Flash-based web site do for helping customers understand what you can do for them?


I've lost count of the number of creative/graphic design/marketing or other media related site I've gone to only to be hit by Flash.

Come on you don't need Flash to make your web site interesting. What you need is good web content.

You're not sure what I'm talking about?


Good content means stuff your prospects and customers want:

  • graphics
  • copy
  • downloads
  • reports
  • video
  • audio

Maybe you're thinking "So does that mean I don't need Flash then?"

The answer to that question is to look at your prospects psychology, because:

  1. Patience and attention span are no longer virtues in the net-age. I mean even this length of blog is too much for some people. So waiting for a flash site to load is going to make people click off in droves.
  2. Self-interest - the old marketing acronym WIFM ("What's In it For Me?" ) wins hands down on web sites. So how does Flash help your prospects? Maybe it showcases your talents, perhaps it shows you're at the leading edge or it displays your web creation ability. But you're not telling your friendly prospect how you can help them.
  3. They're going to hit annoyance when they have to sit through an imposed animation, particularly if they're one of those unfortunates with a dial-up modem, shared broadband, or low speed broadband.

One site I visited had a home page where you could choose whether to have Flash or HTML. And already I've got one more click to get to a page with anything useful on it.

But it didn't end there.

When I hovered on the HTML choice it said "currently under construction".

You tell me. Shouldn't a design agency know that one of the worst things you can do is have an "under construction" label. What is the point in promising something with no end date.

And quite often what is "under construction" never actually gets built anyway.

I'd like to think that all advertising and design studios look first at what they can do for the customer before even designing their site. But I've yet to come across one that appears to have really trodden that difficult path.

If you know one please let me know as I am really trying to find some good ones.

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