Are adding gimmicks to a website ever a good idea? What I mean by gimmick is adding "cool" features that solve no real problem.
We are currently considering adding a "Magazine style" product viewing application to the site. You know like a flash based app that shows magazine pages that you can click and flip the pages with your mouse. I personally think this is terrible idea.
We already have a category page where you click on a category and it lists products. So this catalog view is not solving any problems that are not already solved. They want to use it because of its "cool" factor. I personally don't think its cool, I think its cumbersome, but thats besides the point.
I am all for adding complex features, but only when those complex features are solving real problems. I think this worst part of all is there are now 2 paths for the user to take, a category route and a magazine route. I think the shopping route should be linear and I believe too many options like this is distracting and confusing.
InDesign has a plugin that can make something like this very easily. So not much time will be wasted on it, but I still think it is a very bad idea. Am I right, or being too opinionated?
Can anyone give me any good arguments for either side?