Just a little anecdotal evidence

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Travis Newbury, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Not to start another war, but....

    My son has a small video production company in Atlanta that create
    music videos, training videos and (to pay the bills) wedding videos.
    His website was just like everyone else's. HTML, CSS, and a little
    flash for the video portion. Accessible to most vidsitors.

    I told him, let change the website to an all Flash website that
    tightly integrates the site with the video. His customers loved it
    (especially the wedding customers for some reason). The traffic
    almost tripled in the course of a 2 months. His clients, who had
    video hosted his site (mostly wedding videos) were all excited about
    the new look and functionality of the site, they shared our link with
    their friends who in turn also loved the look and feel of the site,
    and many became new customers. Requests came in for both new video
    work (mostly wedding and training), as well as requests for custom
    Flash video players for their websites and myspace accounts (mostly
    for wedding and music video clients).

    Moral of the story? Changing to a full Flash based site with heavy
    animation and video proved to be the ticket for getting new clients.
    Why? Because that is what the customers wanted. In a site that
    promotes video and more particularly Flash video on the web, the
    people that wanted that stuff integrated tightly with their websites
    wanted to see that functionality on his.

    Now to even top this, I did the entire site in CS3 so a good portion
    of the visitors to the site probably got the "you need to upgrade"
    page when they arrived. There is no NON-Flash alternative. If you
    don't have the newest Flash player the site is useless to you, and you
    will probably take your business else ware.

    I know this is anecdotal evidence, and could all be bullshit any way,
    believe what you want, but there is a place on the web for all this
    fancy crap. That is what some people are looking for and my son's
    website seems to demonstrate that.

    Your mileage may vary
    Travis Newbury, Jan 23, 2008
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Travis Newbury wrote:
    > Not to start another war, but....
    >
    > My son has a small video production company in Atlanta that create
    > music videos, training videos and (to pay the bills) wedding videos.
    > His website was just like everyone else's. HTML, CSS, and a little
    > flash for the video portion. Accessible to most vidsitors.
    >
    > I told him, let change the website to an all Flash website that
    > tightly integrates the site with the video. His customers loved it
    > (especially the wedding customers for some reason). The traffic
    > almost tripled in the course of a 2 months. His clients, who had
    > video hosted his site (mostly wedding videos) were all excited about
    > the new look and functionality of the site, they shared our link with
    > their friends who in turn also loved the look and feel of the site,
    > and many became new customers. Requests came in for both new video
    > work (mostly wedding and training), as well as requests for custom
    > Flash video players for their websites and myspace accounts (mostly
    > for wedding and music video clients).
    >
    > Moral of the story? Changing to a full Flash based site with heavy
    > animation and video proved to be the ticket for getting new clients.
    > Why? Because that is what the customers wanted. In a site that
    > promotes video and more particularly Flash video on the web, the
    > people that wanted that stuff integrated tightly with their websites
    > wanted to see that functionality on his.


    Makes perfectly good sense. It also doesn't tell us what would have
    happened if your son's business instead was selling shirts.

    > Now to even top this, I did the entire site in CS3 so a good portion
    > of the visitors to the site probably got the "you need to upgrade"
    > page when they arrived. There is no NON-Flash alternative. If you
    > don't have the newest Flash player the site is useless to you, and you
    > will probably take your business else ware.


    You say that like it's a good thing. Why would you not want to go the
    extra step?
    Harlan Messinger, Jan 23, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. On Jan 23, 9:07 am, Harlan Messinger
    <> wrote:
    > Makes perfectly good sense. It also doesn't tell us what would have
    > happened if your son's business instead was selling shirts.


    Well actually I created an interactive T-shirt design application in
    Flash for a t-shirt company that increased their online sales too
    because it allowed their customers to visually design their shirts on
    line and order them. Youth sports teams and (interestingly enough)
    families ordering "reunion" t-shirts were the biggest increase seen.

    But your point is completely valid. It worked for my son's site
    because of what he was selling and the fact that his typical customer
    was visually motivated. Doing the same thing for other sites may or
    may not have the same results. MOST sites would probably have
    negative results if they did the same thing. That's why we treat each
    site as unique.

    <mantra>
    Know your client, and know their customers.
    </mantra>

    > > There is no NON-Flash alternative. If you
    > > don't have the newest Flash player the site is useless to you, and you
    > > will probably take your business else where.

    > You say that like it's a good thing. Why would you not want to go the
    > extra step?


    It was useless extra work for an all Flash site. Everyone that uses
    Flash is eventually going to have to upgrade (that is even stated on
    his upgrade page). And generally people that enjoy Flash do not have
    a problem upgrading to the new version. The clients he was aiming for
    are the people that enjoy Flash. The cost/benefit was deemed to low
    to create a non flash alternative (plus I had other things to do and
    his site was a free-bee)
    Travis Newbury, Jan 23, 2008
    #3
  4. Travis Newbury

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On 23 Jan, 13:46, Travis Newbury <> wrote:
    > Not to start another war, but....


    Yet again, you re-cycle the old fallacy that a website can't be
    exciting _without_ Flash.

    Maybe it can be with Flash, but that doesn't rule out making it
    interesting by HTML & CSS means too.
    Andy Dingley, Jan 23, 2008
    #4
  5. On Jan 23, 10:27 am, Andy Dingley <> wrote:
    > Yet again, you re-cycle the old fallacy that a website can't be
    > exciting _without_ Flash.


    Damn, I missed where I said that...

    > Maybe it can be with Flash, but that doesn't rule out making it
    > interesting by HTML & CSS means too.


    Nope it doesn't. And his old HTML/CSS/Flash site looked good, was
    functional, and fun. But his new site is obviously more appealing to
    his customers than the old one was... Go figure...
    Travis Newbury, Jan 23, 2008
    #5
  6. Travis Newbury

    mrcakey Guest

    George W Bush wrote in message
    news:...
    > Not to start another war, but....
    >


    ;-)

    .......

    I think we all might be wasting a lot of keypresses and bandwidth on this
    issue. Perhaps people have different agenda and we should just agree to
    disagree.

    My own two cents:

    Letting the user's browser control so much of the layout is a nice goal -
    user's font, user's screen size, maximum accessibility etc., but while it's
    appropriate for some sites, people get paid an absolute fortune to work on
    the aesthetics of a company's branding (aesthetics being distinct from
    design). These people know what they're doing - there are combinations of
    white space and visual elements that work and combinations that don't. It's
    wrong to castigate these people for wanting a site laid out the way they
    specify. The only way to ensure this is to use a rigid layout. If I have a
    three column layout with divs floated left and right and the content in the
    middle is relatively sparse, it's going to look absolutely abysmal in a
    browser stretched out to 1400px plus isn't it?

    +mrcakey
    mrcakey, Jan 23, 2008
    #6
  7. mrcakey wrote:
    >
    > I think we all might be wasting a lot of keypresses and bandwidth on this
    > issue. Perhaps people have different agenda and we should just agree to
    > disagree.
    >
    > My own two cents:
    >
    > Letting the user's browser control so much of the layout is a nice goal -
    > user's font, user's screen size, maximum accessibility etc., but while it's
    > appropriate for some sites, people get paid an absolute fortune to work on
    > the aesthetics of a company's branding (aesthetics being distinct from
    > design). These people know what they're doing - there are combinations of
    > white space and visual elements that work and combinations that don't. It's
    > wrong to castigate these people for wanting a site laid out the way they
    > specify.


    People get paid an absolute fortune to work on the aesthetics of a
    company's headquarters. These people know what they're doing - there are
    combinations of texture and form that work and combinations that don't.
    It's wrong to castigate these people for wanting a building to look the
    way they specify--even if it can't be physically achieved using
    real-world building materials, and even if it would result in a
    structure that would be unsafe or unpleasant to occupy or inadequate for
    the purpose for which it's intended or likely to deterioriate in a very
    short period of time.
    Harlan Messinger, Jan 23, 2008
    #7
  8. Travis Newbury

    mrcakey Guest

    "Harlan Messinger" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > mrcakey wrote:
    >>
    >> I think we all might be wasting a lot of keypresses and bandwidth on this
    >> issue. Perhaps people have different agenda and we should just agree to
    >> disagree.
    >>
    >> My own two cents:
    >>
    >> Letting the user's browser control so much of the layout is a nice goal -
    >> user's font, user's screen size, maximum accessibility etc., but while
    >> it's appropriate for some sites, people get paid an absolute fortune to
    >> work on the aesthetics of a company's branding (aesthetics being distinct
    >> from design). These people know what they're doing - there are
    >> combinations of white space and visual elements that work and
    >> combinations that don't. It's wrong to castigate these people for
    >> wanting a site laid out the way they specify.

    >
    > People get paid an absolute fortune to work on the aesthetics of a
    > company's headquarters. These people know what they're doing - there are
    > combinations of texture and form that work and combinations that don't.
    > It's wrong to castigate these people for wanting a building to look the
    > way they specify--even if it can't be physically achieved using real-world
    > building materials, and even if it would result in a structure that would
    > be unsafe or unpleasant to occupy or inadequate for the purpose for which
    > it's intended or likely to deterioriate in a very short period of time.


    Really not the same thing is it?

    +mrcakey
    mrcakey, Jan 23, 2008
    #8
  9. mrcakey wrote:
    > "Harlan Messinger" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> mrcakey wrote:
    >>> I think we all might be wasting a lot of keypresses and bandwidth on this
    >>> issue. Perhaps people have different agenda and we should just agree to
    >>> disagree.
    >>>
    >>> My own two cents:
    >>>
    >>> Letting the user's browser control so much of the layout is a nice goal -
    >>> user's font, user's screen size, maximum accessibility etc., but while
    >>> it's appropriate for some sites, people get paid an absolute fortune to
    >>> work on the aesthetics of a company's branding (aesthetics being distinct
    >>> from design). These people know what they're doing - there are
    >>> combinations of white space and visual elements that work and
    >>> combinations that don't. It's wrong to castigate these people for
    >>> wanting a site laid out the way they specify.

    >> People get paid an absolute fortune to work on the aesthetics of a
    >> company's headquarters. These people know what they're doing - there are
    >> combinations of texture and form that work and combinations that don't.
    >> It's wrong to castigate these people for wanting a building to look the
    >> way they specify--even if it can't be physically achieved using real-world
    >> building materials, and even if it would result in a structure that would
    >> be unsafe or unpleasant to occupy or inadequate for the purpose for which
    >> it's intended or likely to deterioriate in a very short period of time.

    >
    > Really not the same thing is it?


    Why do people respond to analogies this way? Is the point of an analogy
    beyond them? Or are they under the impression that an analogy isn't
    really an analogy unless it's a useless one of the form "A is to B as A
    is to B", as evidenced by their picking apart any difference they can
    find between the items being compared, regardless of relevance to the
    comparison? Yes, I understand that they aren't *exactly* the same, but
    in ways *significant to the analogy*, they are the same: The designer is
    NOT the all-consuming expert and authority, and in fact may be entirely
    ignorant of extremely important considerations.
    Harlan Messinger, Jan 23, 2008
    #9
  10. On Jan 23, 1:43 pm, Harlan Messinger
    <> wrote:
    > > Really not the same thing is it?

    > Why do people respond to analogies this way? Is the point of an analogy
    > beyond them?


    Well the analogy has to be relevant. I don't think it was really.

    You were saying that people building buildings can't always follow the
    design they want because of catastrophic issues that may result by
    pushing the limits of the current technology. You were comparing that
    to a fixed width site that may not work exaclty the same on a pda or
    cell phone as it does in a browser on a computer. I do not believe
    the two are comparable.

    A fixed width site will work on everyone's system, including
    cellphones and pdas, but it might not be as convenient. For example I
    check my gmail or Fox News, or weather.com on my cell phone browser.
    It is a ROYAL pain in the ass. But I can do it. If I have a computer
    and my cell phone, then the computer wins every time.

    Why do you think a website has to be equally functional on a cell
    phone as on a computer browser to be successful. This has not been
    proven true in real world usage.
    Travis Newbury, Jan 23, 2008
    #10
  11. Travis Newbury wrote:

    > Well the analogy has to be relevant. I don't think it was really.


    Harlan makes a very good point. It seems today, especially in web design,
    but to an extent in other areas of endevour, people believe "design" to be
    an entirely an artistic and aesthetic matter. However, the aesthetics of a
    product have traditionally only made up a small part of the design process.

    Consider a mug. The handle juts out and gives the whole thing an
    unsymmetrical appearance. From a purely aesthetic point of view, it may be
    best to do away with the handle, for perfect rotational symmetry.
    Beautiful. But if it burns you when you pick it up because your hand is
    too near the boiling hot liquid contents, then the mug is badly designed.
    It is not fit for purpose.

    Apple are a good example of a company that seem to get design right,
    pretty much all of the time. They rightly receive plaudits for the
    aesthetics of their devices (although that is mostly characterised by
    minimalism, a look that is not too difficult to achieve), but it's the
    other part of design where they really shine.

    Back to websites: you might have pages and pages of beautifully drafted
    prose, but if nobody can understand how to use your "unique and innovative
    navigation scheme", then nobody's going to be able to admire them.

    Aesthetics may be important, but usability and fitness for purpose are
    *fundamental* to good design.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    [Geek of HTML/SQL/Perl/PHP/Python/Apache/Linux]
    [OS: Linux 2.6.17.14-mm-desktop-9mdvsmp, up 24 days, 7:24.]

    CSS to HTML Compiler
    http://tobyinkster.co.uk/blog/2008/01/22/css-compile/
    Toby A Inkster, Jan 23, 2008
    #11
  12. On Jan 23, 3:31 pm, Toby A Inkster <>
    wrote:
    > Aesthetics may be important, but usability and fitness for purpose are
    > *fundamental* to good design.


    You have to have 2 things:

    1. Content that the visitor wants
    2. A presentation of that content in a manner pleasing to the visitor.

    If you achieve this for the majority of the people visiting your site
    (notice I said MAJORITY not ALL) you win. It makes no difference if
    the site is fixed width, felxible, Flash or anything else.

    If you meet those two criteria for the majority of your visitors then
    you win every time.
    Travis Newbury, Jan 23, 2008
    #12
  13. Travis Newbury wrote:
    > On Jan 23, 1:43 pm, Harlan Messinger
    > <> wrote:
    >>> Really not the same thing is it?

    >> Why do people respond to analogies this way? Is the point of an analogy
    >> beyond them?

    >
    > Well the analogy has to be relevant. I don't think it was really.
    >
    > You were saying that people building buildings can't always follow the
    > design they want because of catastrophic issues that may result by
    > pushing the limits of the current technology. You were comparing that
    > to a fixed width site that may not work exaclty the same on a pda or
    > cell phone as it does in a browser on a computer. I do not believe
    > the two are comparable.


    The crux of the analogy is that THE PRETTY PICTURES ARE NOT THE ONLY
    IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION. There is THAT clear enough? Good friggin' grief.
    Harlan Messinger, Jan 23, 2008
    #13
  14. Toby A Inkster wrote:
    > Travis Newbury wrote:
    >
    >> Well the analogy has to be relevant. I don't think it was really.

    >
    > Harlan makes a very good point. It seems today, especially in web design,
    > but to an extent in other areas of endevour, people believe "design" to be
    > an entirely an artistic and aesthetic matter. However, the aesthetics of a
    > product have traditionally only made up a small part of the design process.
    >
    > Consider a mug. The handle juts out and gives the whole thing an
    > unsymmetrical appearance. From a purely aesthetic point of view, it may be
    > best to do away with the handle, for perfect rotational symmetry.
    > Beautiful. But if it burns you when you pick it up because your hand is
    > too near the boiling hot liquid contents, then the mug is badly designed.
    > It is not fit for purpose.


    Thank you. Then there was the sleek can opener I bought, only to have it
    pinch the flesh between two of my fingers the first time I used it,
    after which it went into the trash can. And then there are the chairs
    exemplifying the height of 20th century design at the Museum of Modern
    Art in New York--the ones that nobody would ever want to sit on because
    they wouldn't be the remotest bit comfortable.

    If some of the others weren't so desperate to pretend my analogy was
    inapplicable, they would have noticed that I didn't only mention
    catastrophes. I mentioned factors that would make the building unusable.
    These could include defects like an inability to keep the building
    within tolerable temperatures during the height of the winter or summer
    months; ceilings too short to allow the taller employees to stand up
    straight; lack of a loading dock; lack off access for employees in
    wheelchairs; and acoustics like those in a restaurant where people have
    to shout over the din to be heard by the person facing them.
    Harlan Messinger, Jan 23, 2008
    #14
  15. Harlan Messinger wrote:

    > mrcakey wrote:
    >> "Harlan Messinger" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>> mrcakey wrote:
    >>>> I think we all might be wasting a lot of keypresses and bandwidth on
    >>>> this issue. Perhaps people have different agenda and we should just
    >>>> agree to disagree.
    >>>>
    >>>> My own two cents:
    >>>>
    >>>> Letting the user's browser control so much of the layout is a nice
    >>>> goal - user's font, user's screen size, maximum accessibility etc.,
    >>>> but while it's appropriate for some sites, people get paid an absolute
    >>>> fortune to work on the aesthetics of a company's branding (aesthetics
    >>>> being distinct from design). These people know what they're doing -
    >>>> there are combinations of white space and visual elements that work
    >>>> and combinations that don't. It's wrong to castigate these people for
    >>>> wanting a site laid out the way they specify.
    >>> People get paid an absolute fortune to work on the aesthetics of a
    >>> company's headquarters. These people know what they're doing - there
    >>> are combinations of texture and form that work and combinations that
    >>> don't. It's wrong to castigate these people for wanting a building to
    >>> look the way they specify--even if it can't be physically achieved
    >>> using real-world building materials, and even if it would result in a
    >>> structure that would be unsafe or unpleasant to occupy or inadequate
    >>> for the purpose for which it's intended or likely to deterioriate in a
    >>> very short period of time.

    >>
    >> Really not the same thing is it?

    >
    > Why do people respond to analogies this way? Is the point of an analogy
    > beyond them? Or are they under the impression that an analogy isn't really
    > an analogy unless it's a useless one of the form "A is to B as A is to B",
    > as evidenced by their picking apart any difference they can find between
    > the items being compared, regardless of relevance to the comparison? Yes,


    I don't have a dog in this fight -- but with me, anyway, that usually
    means that my analogy has busted their ass wide open and it's the best
    they can come up with.


    --
    Blinky
    Killing all posts from Google Groups
    The Usenet Improvement Project: http://improve-usenet.org
    Blinky: http://blinkynet.net
    Blinky the Shark, Jan 23, 2008
    #15
  16. Travis Newbury wrote:
    > On Jan 23, 3:31 pm, Toby A Inkster <>
    > wrote:
    >> Aesthetics may be important, but usability and fitness for purpose are
    >> *fundamental* to good design.

    >
    > You have to have 2 things:
    >
    > 1. Content that the visitor wants
    > 2. A presentation of that content in a manner pleasing to the visitor.


    3. Functional framework that is both intuitive and accessible.

    Nobody likes a door that is gorgeous to look, that is the entry to the
    most desirable room, but one that no one can figure out how to open!

    >
    > If you achieve this for the majority of the people visiting your site
    > (notice I said MAJORITY not ALL) you win. It makes no difference if
    > the site is fixed width, felxible, Flash or anything else.
    >
    > If you meet those two criteria for the majority of your visitors then
    > you win every time.
    >


    So I look for the trinity...



    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
    Jonathan N. Little, Jan 23, 2008
    #16
  17. Travis Newbury

    Neredbojias Guest

    Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Wed, 23 Jan 2008 18:43:11
    GMT Harlan Messinger scribed:

    > mrcakey wrote:
    >> Really not the same thing is it?

    >
    > Why do people respond to analogies this way?


    They haven't taken enough analgesic beforehand.

    --
    Neredbojias
    Riches are their own reward.
    Neredbojias, Jan 23, 2008
    #17
  18. Travis Newbury

    Neredbojias Guest

    Well bust mah britches and call me cheeky, on Wed, 23 Jan 2008 20:31:04
    GMT Toby A Inkster scribed:

    > Back to websites: you might have pages and pages of beautifully
    > drafted prose, but if nobody can understand how to use your "unique
    > and innovative navigation scheme", then nobody's going to be able to
    > admire them.
    >
    > Aesthetics may be important, but usability and fitness for purpose are
    > *fundamental* to good design.


    You seem to be equating design with engineering. It can be argued that
    the 2 are separate disciplines and design is primarily a province of
    aesthetics.

    --
    Neredbojias
    Riches are their own reward.
    Neredbojias, Jan 23, 2008
    #18
  19. On Jan 23, 5:34 pm, "Jonathan N. Little" <>
    wrote:
    > > You have to have 2 things:
    > > 1. Content that the visitor wants
    > > 2. A presentation of that content in a manner pleasing to the visitor.

    > 3. Functional framework that is both intuitive and accessible.


    I believe #3 is part of #2. To be pleasing it must be accessible and
    intuitive.

    Man we are on an agreement roller coaster...
    Travis Newbury, Jan 23, 2008
    #19
  20. Travis Newbury

    dorayme Guest

    In article <>,
    Harlan Messinger <> wrote:

    > > Really not the same thing is it?

    >
    > Why do people respond to analogies this way?


    Because they are don't understand them, they don't understand
    their scope. (I thought your analogy quite good btw)

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Jan 23, 2008
    #20
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