Creativity is great. A lot of cool sites are out on the web which make you really think hard to
find something on them. Part of the fun may be in the hunt, but when building sites for
business to business transactions, or for doing intra-business applications, learn from the
Build the most consistent, user friendly systems you can!
Learn from the standards, guidelines, and requirements books out on the market for building
user interfaces, learn how to apply this information appropriately, and make decisions with
your target audience in mind. Would you want to borrow someone's car whose gas pedal is
on the left? No! So, why do you think having such a unique interface on your web site
will be a plus? Don't make that mistake, try to focus users to your content, and not waste
their time with the interface. An interface is just a medium between your user and your
content. If the user spends most of their time figuring out your interface, how much time
will they have for your content? Frustrated users will find someone else to provide your
services, so differentiate your site on functionality and value not by making a "creative" site.
P.S. What is "cool" when talking about a site? I think cool means I can use a site to do
something in one tenth the time it took me on someone else's site, or via another medium.
Fast to me is cool, lots of content is cool, finding what I want quickly is really cool.
Waiting for a 80K home page to download is not cool. Having to figure out
that "Acquire" really means "Search" is not cool. - RHM
I think "cool" is contextual. If the site has to do with some industry that is linked to art (i.e.,
graphics, painting, or show business) then graphics and unusualness is cool. If the web site is
a business-related or service-oriented site then the service can be cool (i.e., they provide something
that I wouldn't expect) but how they do it is the easiest way to be cool. I am willing to wait
a little longer for larger graphics if the service itself is special. If the service is something that is
"normal" or something to be used consistently then I agree with Richard; fast, logical, and user-friendly are
the way to coolness. - KMR