A Time To Shine
The "wet floor" look has been around for ages. A trend, which died, then came back, then died and is now back. It seems to me that it will always be around either lurking in the shadows or being paraded in the limelight. It gives depth, class, and interest to any design if produced effectively. It gives a design that "apple", glossy look which has been developed into the style we currently call "Web 2.0". It is also an extension of the "3d" styles, which we are starting to see a lot of.
However we pose the question. As a graphic element what does it bring to the page apart from athletic qualities? Does it enforce any key messages? Does it fit in with the theme of the site? Why use something if you are just using it for the "sake of it"?
I personally feel that this style does occasionally help to enforce key messages. For example if you were selling floor polishers it helps to enforce the message of the product you are selling. If you are an artist the effect may help to give the feel of a high-class gallery. If you were a hotel it may help you to depict the shininess of the floor at your vicinity. Etc, etc, etc.
However if you are a reclaimed stone reseller then I doubt a shiny floor will help you sell more stone. If you are a forestry commission I doubt that it will help you with your messaging. If you are a charity helping homeless children again if you use the effect then why would it help you?
The point I'm attempting to make is there is a time to shine and a time not to shine.
I'm not a fan of using styles "for the sake of it" as a graphic designer I believe we must use styles, elements and layouts for reasons. Purpose is what distinguishes a professional form an amateur.
So, over to you - when is it the right time to shine?