Friday, December 18, 2009

Overproduced Artist Sites

During the past few years, I have looked at thousands of artists' sites. The least successful in my opinion are those that are the least straightforward. Such sites are often built with Flash and require the viewer to spend time waiting for things to load. While those are loading, the viewer gets to look at a progress bar which shows the percentage already loaded. Although the amount of time for each message is not really that long, the cumulative effect is that the viewer is more likely to be left with an impression of that progress bar than with the work itself. It's as though you were telling a story and before each line said:"OK, here is the next sentence."

This is not the reason the sites are problematic, it's merely one of the symptoms. Artists understandably want to sell their work, but if the site looks more like an on-line store, with constant references to shopping carts or an exercise to show off a website designer's bag of tricks, it is likely to annoy serious viewers and drive them away in less time than it takes a progress bar to finish.

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