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The Daily Stream

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All That Glitters Is Not Gold

October 24, 2011 // By: Stream Companies

Flashy navigation? Cool big pictures? Hold on!

Before the dog-and-pony shows of complicated flash intros get too alluring, take a few minutes to sit back and really think about it. The most important question to ask yourself in the development stage is “Is it functional?” Will users be able to navigate your site easily?

Put yourself in the visitor’s shoes. People viewing your site may range from the tech-savvy 19 year-old to the grandpa that got a Dell for Christmas and just figured out what the Internet is. When users go to a website, they should be able to find things easily. Period.
Otherwise, they’ll just leave the site and go elsewhere.

At Stream Companies, we stick to conventional design practices while keeping industry trends in mind.  We follow the “Don’t Make Me Think” philosophy taken from a simple book about web usability with a big message. Our designers believe in a balance of usability and aesthetics. And while flash was once the big thing, it’s a fact that an increasing amount of people use their mobile devices to access websites. Most mobile phones don’t support flash. As an alternative, Stream Companies works with HTML 5 to render movement and design for mobile scenarios.

It’s all about seeing things through a user’s eyes. To keep the visitor engaged, we make sure there’s fresh content on the homepage at all times. This not only helps with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but also attracts the attention of viewers and draws them into the site. Using tools such as Google Analytics for thorough site analysis helps us understand what the most popular content is. Stream web developers and designers use that information to strategically place your most popular content in the most viewed areas of your site.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that simple navigation is key when designing a website. While the mesmerizing aspects of flash may seem attractive, hold back. If you want to see any results, make sure your site is usable, not just pretty…and pretty confusing.

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