Sometimes I get calls and emails from other web design studios, asking if we’re interested in partnering with them. It’s polite to respond, so I usually do- but the first thing I do is go to the other company’s own website to see if they know their stuff. Too often, they’re utterly clueless.
What especially grates are those companies who have exported their Adobe Flash website design sensibility to HTML5/Web Standards designs. What I mean is, everyone knows Flash is mainly dead. But to continue to design the same poorly-thought-out kinds of websites you built using Flash, but now using Web Standards as the underlying technology doesn’t show any sort of intelligence or respect for your craft. I almost feel like it’s arrogant. And that kind of design mindset certainly doesn’t ever suit clients’ needs.
Today a new web design company in Los Angeles sent me a link to their site, and as I feared, it was one of those “formerly Flash” situations. Their homepage was absolutely pretty at first glance (if a tad busy, with all the animation). But the UI/UX was just terrible. As far as site architecture, they had none.
I spoke with the site’s owner, and he admitted that they’d spent all their money on the nifty HTML5 animation on the homepage. I tried to help him, asking if he’d thought about reworking the site to be more user-friendly.
He didn’t get it. He kept repeating “our homepage animation’s awesome!”. I kept saying “Yes, it is, but you lose me after the first click, and what good is that?”. The guy just didn’t get it.
Unfortunately, their client websites are all like that, too. A big show of sparkle and boom upfront, then the dull thud of crapville. I don’t know of any client who’d accept that, once they started seeing their Google Analytics and conversion information.
No wonder that new web design company is looking for work, despite the sparkle and boom.