We hear the phrase “cutting edge” thrown around a lot when it comes to web design. Many clients want to be on the cutting edge. The latest.
Being on the cutting edge isn’t a wholly vain thought. Everyone wants to be unique and stand out – especially if your business is as individual as you are.
There is only one problem with cutting edge: by design, it will slice a general audience in two (or three, or four).
The cutting edge is sharp – it’s not for everyone. Neither is your product your business. But you have to weigh the risks of who might get cut by your version of cutting edge.
If you are dividing the very audience you hope to reach, being on the cutting edge may hurt your business. However, if you split your target audience out of a more general audience, you will be ahead of the game. If it is a way of communicating “people like me do things like this,” that sharp edge will be a competitive advantage instead of a liability.
An example would be creating a nav for a website based on a popular game console controller. If I went to that website, I would be completely lost! I have never been a gamer. But if you are selling an add-on for that very brand of controller, you will perfectly isolate your target audience from the general.
If you want to be cutting edge, think of how to use it as a tool to narrow and target your specific audience. But be aware that “cutting edge” for the sake of being cool will likely chill a more general audience.