Monday, January 02, 2012

POLL: First Impressions: what makes you leave an art website fast?

The Making A Mark Poll for January is about first impressions.  Does your art website make people want to stay a while or run away fast?

New Year is a time when many artists clean up their acts, remove clutter from their studios, clear the decks and generally get ready for action.  Many of us like to have a fresh start to a new year and most of us have got a lot of things to do in 2012!

However - do you do the same to your website?

The reason I ask is that recently I was struck very forcibly by how much we deduce about an organisation (or an artist) from their website.

A link took me to the website of an organisation related to art (which I won't name).  Its main aim was to help artists but was actually one of the worst designed websites I've ever seen - for all sorts of different reasons.  It goes without saying I was left with a poor impression of the scope for that organisation to provide effective help in the current climate.

That then got me thinking about what irritated me and why I thought it was poor.  Which led me to thinking about what are the things that create a poor impression and tend to prompt a swift departure from the website of somebody operating in the art world.  By which I mean the websites of artists, galleries (both B&M and online only galleries), museums, art tutors, art appraisers, art marketing experts, artists' mentors - you name it!

Lastly it struck me that we very probably react in the same way to websites as we do to people.  Those "first impressions" count for an awful lot.  Some aspects create positive impressions and some features make us want to move on fast.

Which is why the Making A Mark Poll for January asks what makes you leave an art website fast.

Options are as follows - however don't let that stop you from leaving a comment to tell us all what  makes you leave an art website fast if it's not listed.  However let's stick to features and characteristics  rather than pointing fingers at a particular URL!
  • Bad navigation
  • Content badly organised
  • Images load very slowly
  • Tiny paintings
  • Garish colours hurt my eyes
  • 101 typefaces (too many!)
  • Text is illegible
  • Too many typos
  • Music plays automatically 
  • Auto-streaming of videos 
  • Registration required 
  • Intrusive or irrelevant adverts
  • Anything which jumps out at me
  • Anything that crashes my computer
  • Dull and boring
  • Out of date dates
You can tick all those which really irritate you and make you leave a website

You can find the poll in the right hand column - just below the flame icon and above "for your information".  It closes at 00:01 (GMT/London) on 31st January 2012 and I'll post an analysis of the the results later the same day.

I'm also on the lookout for links to helpful info about good website design for artists.  If you know of a good resource and would like to share any recommendation(s) please shout out and leave a comment below.

and finally......what not to do on your website

A New Year gift for you.  This is a very useful infographic I got from Kissmetrics which is one of the leading analytical services for websites (for websites which are far bigger than ours!).

It makes the point that:

  • website design is critical to generating user interest
  • website design is critical to retaining interest
  • good website design 
    • minimises user frustration and 
    • maximises customer retention
and then goes on to highlight what not to do on your website.

I'm going to be keeping it to hand as I sort my website out!

Click on the image below to view an enlarged version of this infographic

What Makes Someone Leave A Website?
Source: What Makes Someone Leave A Website?