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I'm redesigning my web design portfolio. Here is a piece of the layout:

enter image description here

I showed it to some people. One of them said that it is "too boring" which made me wonder if users do leave sites that they find "boring." By boring he meant not many animations, images and no logo. What's your experience with that?

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Um, if I find a site boring, what reason do I have to stay? –  Izkata Dec 25 '11 at 5:53
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@Izkata to find the the information/service you were looking for? –  janoChen Dec 25 '11 at 6:08
    
"by boring he meant" Did you ask him? If you change the font size and color of "hello" suddenly it will become more enticing: I don't think it belongs here. Could someone migrate it to graphicdesign.stackexchange.com? –  Knu Dec 25 '11 at 16:27
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boring is one of the things to have into account but definitely not the only one: has information you need, it has been recommended, etc. The question should probably be more "if there's nothing they need and the site is boring..." Then, YES. –  Naoise Golden Dec 25 '11 at 18:45
    
It seems like the question answers itself. Exception being a government website or something. I'll stay on a website if I'm required to in order to finalize a state action of some kind. –  ajkochanowicz Dec 26 '11 at 7:03

6 Answers 6

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To answer your question as written: yes, people leave things because they are boring, but they are not boring for the reasons that your friend thinks they are.

Only the content will determine whether or not the site is boring to the people you've built it for.

The kinds of visual attention-grabbing elements your friend is recommending are dangerous to use if you only use them to make the site look exciting. They can get in the way of getting the actual content. People have no problem using a boring looking site if the content is valuable to them: think about Google or Craigslist as examples.

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Yes, people will leave sites they find boring (which is why bounce rate is such an important metric).

However:

Boring is a subjective term

That said, anyone could find any site boring.

The important question to ask anyone who thinks it is boring is "what do you believe makes it boring?"

What you might not have considered is the fact that your friend might not be the best person to ask this question to.

When designing for anything, the first thing you have to do is understand your target audience.

Is your friend part of that target audience? If not, then who is? Find out who they are and find out how it resonates with them.

The point of any good design is to engage the audience it was designed for; identify that as well as clearly define the purpose of the design and work from there.

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Yes.

Does this matter in the context of your self promoting web site?

No.

Why?

I'd argue you're trying to promote your own skills and aesthetic sensibilities, it's better for you if prospective clients see what you value and are capable of rather than the whims of your friends.

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There is no reason to stay in a site which is boring.

boring does not necessarily mean a website with lots of animation.

A site could be attractive with no animation, but with good use of whitespaces.

If you arrange your elements in a manner that shows everything could be find easily, then your site is the one to stay.

Is stackExchange boring? If your answer is NO, then delve a little deeper into the design to see why is that the case!

Always remember: there are lots of things which is free and you can learn from them. so use them, many people don't know this simple fact.

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Perhaps the question is missing the point slightly.

People will leave a site if they don't find it useful

  • If a person finds a site boring - they're effectively saying they don't find it useful.

  • If they don't find it useful - chances are the site either doesn't allow them to achieve a goal that they're interested in completing OR the site doesn't communicate it's purpose well enough.

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Not all sites need to be exciting, stimulating and fascinating, but having those qualities certainly helps in getting and keeping your visitor's attention, which in turn helps them stay on your site.

A minimalist design can be very effective as well, as long as the content is interesting or informative, or the user has a strong focus on functionality/task accomplishment. For some domains, having a site with too many flashy fun elements can come at the cost of perceived credibility/seriousness/expertise. (A government website about taxes shouldn't try to be too funny).

But in short: yes, users will leave, they have many other things that need their attention and are easily distracted.

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