When building a website or application, you have to ensure that it speaks directly to your target audience, that it engages them (FORM), and that it functions. I have seen really sexy designs with very little on the back-end. This format was widely accepted because it was slick and easy to use. On the flip side, I have seen some of the greatest technology in the world, but without a slick and sexy interface, it wasn’t accepted by its user base.
Speaking From Personal Experience
This is very true with a site that I have recently tried to place an order on for the past 2 days: www.northface.com. The site employs ajax, flash, and IBM websphere commerce (which is very server-intensive) as its shopping cart. From the front end, it is a very nice site. It allows you to search for items, pick an item, view alternate colors, and zoom in on products. These are extremely nice features. However, it has not performed very well as there are too many moving parts on the back-end. The site is slow and riddled with errors.
Bottom Line: pick a design and features that your customer will enjoy while not over-utilizing technology.
You might wonder, “Matt, why would you pass up extra hours for the build of the greatest looking site in the world?”. Its just not worth it, as it will reflect poorly on the brand and myself. Whats the point?
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