Grabbing Interest: How much excitement is too much?

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Many websites enjoy having bright colorful banners, exciting flashing text, flash videos playing constantly, or even ads disguised as fun content. But how much is too much? How many things are the intended demographic going to pay attention to? What are the types of ads that will grab a demographics’ attention in a website design? All of these things play into one thing, the success of a website.

Using the Google model, we find that a few targeted ads which are discreetly placed in almost every conceivable screen can generate great revenue. However, if you want to grab the attention of your intended audience with flashing banners, great prizes or exciting content, this is likely not part of your strategy.

When it comes to making things exciting, there is only so much a person can handle. We are bombarded by flashing lights all over the internet all promising exciting results. These have worked well for Myspace, but how much is too much? The first question may be, how much is the intended audience able to perceive?

If an entire page is covered in flashing banners and logos it would of course the difficult to navigate. If the page is plain, the content and ads all in neat logical places it would be quite dull. So, how many exciting things should be on the screen at any one time. First place yourself in the shoes of a consumer. Look at your webpage, with one very interesting piece, your eye will almost surely be drawn directly to it. How about if you have two per screen? There should probably not be more than two.

The reason for the suggestion of two, is that the eye will be drawn from one to the other, and if the line is draw correctly from the first to the second, then the eye can be drawn from there to the content of the page. The first should likely be more interesting than the second, giving an initial interest in the page. The second should be a considerable amount less interesting, bridging a gap of ocular interest between the first banner and the content.

It is important that the target demographic should be able to easily navigate the page. If may want to make a strong artistic statement with the webpage, but doing so at the cost of functionality is likely a poor decision. Functionality on the other hand should never over rule at least some artistic flair. Web sites that are very easily navigated but are otherwise incredibly plain, tend to hold very little interest in most demographics.

In the end, it is your decision on how many banners to put on your website, and understanding a demographic is key to this. Understanding their interests and how web savvy they are may determine how the banners are placed, and how the web layout is designed. The key is to keep interest without losing confusing the audience.