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Good website design is never the result of an accident

Good website design is never the result of an accident

Design for people, not designers

Everything we use everyday, and naturally take for granted, has been designed. If a design is good enough you’ll not even think about it’s function, because it will just work.

This holds true for everything from technology, to kitchenware, to clothing and to what concerns us here, graphic design for websites and APPs. Good website design is never the result of an accident.

We only really question design when it fails

The other day a client excitedly got out their iPhone to demonstrate an interface that they thought was the perfect solution for their new APP.  It was all singing, all dancing, and rather tellingly it had an instruction manual.

Instructions to use it’s own interface? That is an instant design failure.  We shudder to think how much money had been spent in re-inventing the wheel on this APP.

Any design should be simple and intuitive, a user interface (UI) should be no different. A user should instinctively be able to follow the flow of the APP or website without referring to an instruction manual. Needless to say, once explained, my client was no longer ‘blinded-by-design’.

Now they can spend more of their budget on the APP project marketing to help make it a success and stand a good chance of an early return on investment.

Good website design or APP design should be fundamental to your online offering and can perhaps only be fully understood after years of experience. Experience only comes from mistakes, so make sure you’re not exposing yourself to someone elses learning curve.

No-one has to ask ‘how do you search Google?’

Design for the lowest common denominator

In 2000 we too the lead on a project designing a Content Management System (CMS) for Members of Parliament (MPs). The premise was simple: Create an online ‘News Editor’ to enable MPs to update their own websites, with an MP given as the lowest common denominator. Don’t blame us, it was the brief and absolutely no offence to any MP is intended here.  Common place now, but in 2000 a CMS was emerging technology, updating websites online was a rather technical affair. MPs are very busy people and it was reckoned they would prefer not to have to have an instruction manual to edit their website.

That design has stood the test of time. The other day one of our long-standing customers commented that he felt the design of the interface was much easier to use that any other content management system he had experimented with including WordPress, the market leader in terms of users. So perhaps that was good website design? We like to think so.

A good design needs to meet the requirements of the people who will use it. The design must be intuitive, simple to understand and above all effective. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my target market for my website or APP and how will they use it?
  • What are the key objectives?
  • Will the user understand what is required of them?
  • Is the logic clear enough to guide the user?

Good design is never the result of an accident

Google, Facebook, Twitter to name but a few.  Simple designs, easy to use, uncluttered, but highly functional. They just work, and millions upon millions of people lay testimony to this. But, importantly, these designs are no accident. You can be sure these companies invest heavily in to user interface design, testing, redesigning, re-testing, until they are confident that the general public will accept the design.

So if you want a successful Website or APP you don’t need to look too far. Examine how the big players design, the answers are right in front of you.

If you get something out of it’s box and it does not work, or does not appear to work, it will not inspire confidence. It is no different with an APP or a website, except it is easier to just uninstall the APP or go to a competitors website.

Remember, website design is for people, not just website designers.
Good website design is for everyone.

 

If you would like to discuss your design project we will be happy to help and advise.

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