Ah, progress! Technology! Ain't it grand?
Web design in the old days was about creating interesting ways to present content. It was about something eye catching over here and something easy to navigate and easy to read everywhere else. It was all about graphics and html. Our computers were all slow, back then. We were used to hitting enter and having a quick pee break while the page loaded. We (web designers) also avoided scrolling as much as possible and attempted to get your information out in a well worded few paragraphs. In contrast, today, a 2100 word or more novel is favored over a short, straight to the point web page. Sigh.
Enter the age of tablets and phones, of short attention spans and instant gratification. Graphics need to be optimized, gone are the days of Flash, the speed of your website not only determines whether or not you lose your audience before your site has loaded, but also where search engines (read Google) place your website when people search for products or services you offer. Speaking of Google, there was a time when I adored Google. Back when they were the new kids on the block, with amazing ideas and setting up playgrounds for nerds like me to test and play with those ideas. I'm no longer a fan. Google has pretty much monopolized search. They own YouTube. You can't post a video without a Google account. You have to have this and you have to do that, in order to satisfy their ever changing requirements. And, website speed is one of those requirements.
So, it is a delicate balance, an intricate dance.. of how much visual appeal you want and how much speed you are willing to give up. With our own redesign, I'm still on the fence. I would like to have something a bit fancier for the home page and I will likely go that route, eventually. But, I also keep a close eye on the speed factor. Of course, running the same speed test (using Lighthouse, which is developed by Google and now also used by companies like GTMetrix) at different times during the day, may bring drastically different results. I just ran another test with Page Speed Insights and came up with a score of 90 for mobile and 99 for desktop. That's pretty good and I'm not sure I want to mess with it quite yet.
I am also having to keep an eye on where we show up in organic search results; I had dropped the ball big time when it came to our own website in recent years. I guess, that's what happens when you're busy with customers - you kinda forget about your own website. So, hopefully, this redesign will put us back to where we used to be and where we belong: in the first 3 or so of organic results.
Of course, the other issue with our own website is, that it is the playground for anything new. Before I advise any client to do this or that, I test it out on our site. Sometimes, results aren't as expected. That's fine.. at least, it's not a client site. I can live with that. Truth be told, the vast majority of our new business comes from word of mouth, anyways. THANK YOU, btw... all of you who recommend us to others. You are the pillars that support us, you are the glue that holds our business together. We are so very grateful to you.
So, in conclusion... I kinda miss the old days. Designing a new website was more exciting back then. There weren't nearly as many rules and I somehow think that creativity has taken a bit of a back seat. I often find myself discarding a design idea, because it will be next to impossible to make it work on all platforms or devices. Then again, every now and then, I come up with something brilliant and that's still exciting