This "Case Study" concerns the portal website SnapJapan.com which is a Travel Guide for visitors to Japan and X-Pats living in Japan. TheDreamChest.com is the owner and Website Administrator of SnapJapan.com. SnapJapan.com is one of the leading travel sites for visitors to Japan.
We decided to change the home page of SnapJapan.com for two reasons:
We received a few emails from users of SnapJapan.com that read something like the following, "Thanks for your site. Can you stop the front page images from rotating around it's very distracting". Furthermore we noticed a small decrease in front page visitors after we added the "fancy" rotator.
It's interesting to "step out" of your own business and look at things from the customers/clients/users viewpoint. Sometimes those who are "in the industry" like to change things up or "over produce" things just because they like to use the latest and greatest apps. SnapJapan.com is a "Portal Website" where people come for information... they don't need to see flashy fading images or zooming/sliding things, they want good info and some fast loading pictures to look at. They want an easy to see and find menu, they want to easily sort and filter results and they want a well layed-out and planned system where they can find things fast.
After receiving these emails from users complaining about, "I don't want to see flashy, zooming, sliding things" I personally spent some time going through various city/state websites on the web. There are PLENTY of "Portal" and "Directory" websites that are supposed to clearly show information to those searching for it BUT... many have these huge rotator things, require the user to "click" to show the menu, businesses not easily filterable or sortable and a jumble mess of "posts" you have to endlessly scroll through. It's like the website was designed so it could show off fancy sliding stuff instead about thinking of what a visitor really is looking for.
Hey, if you want a video to start playing when your site loads or if you want flashy sliding and fading things, it's not that difficult to do. However... pretend like you are a customer/visitor to your own site. If your from New York or California and your looking for a hotel to stay at in Aspen, do you want to land on some artsy page that is difficult to understand, navigate and has sliding things all over the place? Or, do you want a clean, simple, easy to navigate website where you can find information fast.