Business.hr is closing down
Business.hr - Croatian's website that deals with, you guessed, business related news is getting closed down soon. It is one of the visited sites in Croatia, so I guess this is a big deal.
(I will not link it from here, because the link will be dead pretty soon, and I am too lazy to remove it when site closes down.)
All the major news sites reported this news, made a lot of comments about it closing down, but all of them failed to report the obvious - Business.hr is a website that is VERY hard to use and read.
So lets get the numbers going.
Google Analytics placed on some of the most corporate/business websites that we made give us this breakdown of monitor resolutions:
1024x768 - 39.09%
1280x1024 - 28.23%
1024x768 - 33.69%
1280x1024 - 25.75%
So we can see that business & corporate related projects have 1024x768 resolution as the most common resolution to visit those websites.
I have resized my Firefox to the 1024x768 pixels, and closed all the toolbars that ordinary people might not have, just to be on the safe side. And see how the website looks like (i marked BLUE the area reserved for banners):
Worst case scenario (that occurs often):
I did some math on the pixels, and Homepage has a total of 588000 visible pixels (approximately, of course). Out of that 224480 pixels are reserved for banners (and irrelevant content), and that is almost 40%. FORTY.
Let me say that again in another way: 40% of the website is ignored by the users.
(I will not even go into further analysis - business people who most likely have Internet Explorer with at least 2 toolbars installed, out of the plethora of choices: Google, Yahoo, MSN, .... further reducing the view size)
Also, when you scroll the site down, entire header remains static, sticky at the top. Yes. Entire top blue section stays there no matter where you go on the site. I am not joking. No, no, no, seriously, entire top HUGE banner area stays there all the time, taking up about one third of your screen all the time. Seriously!!
When this website was made, this maybe was cool and innovative thing. However, since then, a lot of progress was made in the web design field, and this is no longer acceptable by the users. Users will just not spend time on this site, there are other sources of information that are more user-centered and better designed.
Furthermore, the design gimmick - having a HUGE ASS banner on top of the site causes one more problem. That banner is non standard format. 848x179 pixels is just out of nowhere. This causes problems with banner distribution mechanisms, since all marketing agencies that run campaigns for their clients need to make one more banner format for Business.hr specifically. Which often results in Business.hr not getting revenue from banners. Having a classical 728x90 banner on the top, that scrolls with the rest of the site, would be much better. No, actually, that could save them. But who would ever listen to experienced web designer, eh?
This just shows us, once again, that web is an evolving medium. Whatever website you made few years ago, it will probably not please users if you do not evolve it constantly. Listen to users, listen to designers, listen to web developers.