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Blowing the Whistle on the Bells and Whistles (Why your website really doesn’t need all of the hot new technology)

Remember the days of the animated cursor? You know, when the little sparkly stars would follow your cursor around the page. Wheeeeeeee …… this is fuuunnnn!! It’s like a magic wand!! That was soooo cool, wasn’t it? Yeah, maybe for about five seconds. Then, the proverbial “magic” was gone. Those sparkly little stars became very annoying VERY quickly. “Abracadabra!!! How do I make these awful stars disappear??”

Or, how about the cursor that was shaped like a football or an animal or had an adorable little face? “Hey, check this out, my cursor has cute little eyeballs and TEETH. Awwww! Neato.” Well, soon that novelty, too, wore off and now it was time to do some serious browsing. “Hmmm, how do I get back to my plain old arrow cursor? Send out the search parties. I want him back!”

Oh yeah, and then, there was the time when Flash first came on the scene. You remember that time, right? It seemed that every website you visited was spinning, blinking, moving all over the place. “Hey, I just want to click on that button, but I can’t seem to catch it. Ugh, I’m getting dizzy. I think I’m about to lose my lunch.”

The latest and greatest bells and whistles might not always be what’s best for your customers.

Yeah, I’m exaggerating. A little bit. But, the truth is, from time to time, we are all guilty of being sucked in by the awe of new technologies. You might think these bells and whistles are “cutting edge”, but it’s important not to jump the gun and, just because something looks new or different, doesn’t mean you should put it into your website.

What could go wrong, you ask? Well, a number of things. If a technology is brand new, chances are, it’s not fully supported by all of the popular browsers or widely-used versions of those browsers. You wouldn’t want 75% of your visitors to come to a broken website, or, to be so annoyed by your website that they have to leave, would you? I didn’t think so. And, don’t forget the possibility that new technology could be damaging your SEO efforts.

So, the lesson is, the latest and greatest bells and whistles might not always be what’s best for your customers or for your business as a whole. Before strapping your website with the latest cursor with eyeballs and teeth, (no matter how cute he is), be sure to check with your web developers and SEO experts who have already done the latest research for you.

Hey, you never know, the technology you are wanting could be completely feasible. Just remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

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