My sister Laura emailed the other day:
Here is a link to a very animated website. I don’t really like websites in general, but this one is cute and makes me want to buy this probably yucky product, so I thought I would share it so at least you can consider it from a psychological perspective. Or maybe you will want to eat these poppy things.
Ignoring her slight toward websites — my life’s work! — I did check it out, and I recommend you do too. The site is www.popchips.com, and it’s a great example of a simple, well-done site that skips frills and focuses on a product message.
About the only flaw is the cute but unskippable Flash animation. I’d rather there was a link to allow me to jump to the main site. I’m also not a fan of frames (the scrollable sections of text), but that’s not a big issue for me.
I asked Laura what she likes about the site.
1 – white background with large red and yellow letters
2 – poppy animation with clear picture of product. It’s rather like a broadway show. cute.
3- there is no menu down the left. I don’t like those. there is a simple menu at the top. like those. i don’t get lost
4 – when you click through the menu, the style is the same and there is not much on the screen to get confused. i like the scroll parts in the text.
5- conclusion: it is clean, clear and happy. websites often leave me confused and i often miss the information ’cause there is so much in there i don’t see what i’m meant to see.
That’s a sharp analysis — especially from someone who says she doesn’t like websites.
As simple as this site looks, I’m confident it took a lot of time and effort to create. Not to build — that part is easy. But to choose what information to provide, to ensure that the flow through the site is simple and clear no matter how you proceed, and to keep out all extraneous material.
My favorite book on making websites is “Don’t Make Me Think.” In it the author, Steve Krug, explains in layman’s terms how people read websites. Mostly people skim for something close to what they’re looking for, and don’t read all the words and graphics — and yet, it’s still important to include the right amount of information.
So the site is inspiring for me. But it’s also disappointing: Popchips aren’t available in Pennsylvania. I can order online, or maybe I can ask Laura to send me a bag.