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Envy: Keeping Up with the Nerds

When a potential customer hits your site, is the first thing he or she sees a straight offer to buy, or a song-and-dance routine of Java applets, animated icons, Flash presentations, or other special effects that waste time—and delay the sale—for your visitor?

People don't care to be entertained with the equivalent of elevator music when they're looking to take action. Who cares if your competitor's web site won "Cool Site of the Day" awards? What counts in business is making sales. Don't force potential customers to sit through a flashy, long splash page before getting to the site's home page, or wait for a variety of images to appear, move around, and disappear from the screen before the home page loads. You can be sure that they'll be gone before your flashy animations are done.

Finally, be sensitive to customers with older systems (or limited time). If your site has a lot of flashy graphics, offer a text-only option for viewing your site.

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