A new Dublin-based Discovery Program is bringing historic Ireland to people all over the world using life-like 3D models and images. "The monastery at Skellig Michael in County Kerry, the passage tomb at Newgrange in County Meath and the Pulnabrone dolmen in County Clare are among the ancient structures in the Republic of Ireland that have been scanned and recreated using the cutting edge 3D technology," BBC News reports. These are just three of the 150 monuments and historical sites digitized by the new, 3D technology. Ireland plans to use the 3D models and images in the education and tourism sectors.
Are 3D Websites The Next Big Thing?
The project raises a lot of questions -- including questions that have absolutely nothing to do with the Irish tourism industry. One of those questions is, will Web developers be creating more pages using similar 3D images and technology? Although there is not necessarily a concrete answer to that question, the general consensus, at least right now, seems to be no. "Expert-level Web users liked content more and thought it was more credible when the site used simple clicking and mouse-over tools compared to less intuitive tools like the 3D carousel and drag," according to Futurity.org. And it is wildly important for Web developers, Website design companies, professional Web design companies, and Internet marketing services to take note of these preferences.
The Case For Keeping Things Simple
Of course, many Web design and Internet marketing strategies actually suggest the opposite. In other words, businesses are often advised that it is wise to take chances and do whatever they can to be one step ahead of the competition. When it comes to 3D technologies and Web design, however, the simple truth remains that it may be too distracting. (Remember scrolling, flashing, and twinkling marquees?) With the vast majority (93%) of Web use starting on search, 100 billion searches worldwide per month, and over one-third (39%) of customers coming from search engines like Google and Yahoo, usability and navigation should always trump technology, gadgets, and flair.
In special circumstances (i.e., tourism), 3D models and images online may be appropriate -- but use them very sparingly and tread very, very carefully right now. As it stands, simple click technology and streamlined, simple webpages are perceived as the most professional, reliable, and trustworthy.