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I am sorry if this sounds like a “doddery crumblies on net” cliché, but thrifty pensioners in my experience seldom lash out on killer systems with cable modems and upgrade motherboards every two or three years. They are too wise to waste hard-earned cash on capacity they do not need. Plus, you need them - they do not need you (at this time) so why should they sweat to figure out your site?
Further to viewer profiles - think around issues involved.
Consider, for example, a three star hotel. Those looking for a less expensive level of accommodation, do they have money to change PCs frequently or to 'waste' on broadband connectivity?
A site for an optician – should it not have clear to read type? After all, viewers may well need glasses or have problems with color vision. A black on red logo may be a mistake here.
Will a mother respond better to a playschool website her baby would like – lots of bright colours and teddies - or would she prefer something more serious and trustworthy for perhaps most precious thing in her life?
Not necessarily “bad” use, but frequently inappropriate use of design and net-technology gets in-between viewer and your goal - and produces some of most technically advanced, beautifully executed, clever, portfolio worthy, over-priced lemons that web has ever seen.
Way down on pre flight checklist list is question of selecting images, animations (if any) and audio because unless they conform to design needs I have outlined – they are worse than useless. This is no exaggeration as usesless at best does nothing, but inappropriate contents can send viewers away in their droves. Further; until you know who your target actually is, based on what criteria would you select anything anyway?
To me, all of this leads to relatively small, neat, "say it then shut up" websites aimed at a specific goal with a specific target or range of targets. Simple to use and clear in terms of design and content, and that by a strange coincidence this just happens to be favorite fodder of search engine spiders. The proverbial 4-L's always apply.
With these facts in mind you can critique your site as marketing tool is should be, rather than a work of art or an expression of your or your webmasters desire to produce something that impresses you and your like-minded friends – but that no one else will spare a second glance.
Englesos is a Web and Graphic Designer working out of the Famagusta area of Cyprus. See more of his work on http://www.englesos.net