Thinking about design

Good design can be vital to making your website work to its best potential.

Design is an important but subtle element.

People (like you and me) like easy-to-use websites. We like it to be so clear and easy that we actually enjoy the process.

jones-carpenters

Jones the carpenters is a classic design

So ‘don’t make me think’

A few years ago I came across a book on website design called “Don’t make me think!” by Steve Krug of Advanced Common Sense.

Steve’s point is that people don’t like to be made to think when they come to a website.

Just like if we go to a new town we look for reliable things like street names and if they are not there we can get disoriented quickly.

It’s not that we are un-intelligent; its that the Internet and computers, smart phones, tablets and all are actually not so easy to use.

Technology is even more challenging when the circumstances are pressured; low or broken connectivity for example disrupting you while you’re trying to book train tickets.

Simplicity rules

Custom House Cardigan

Another classic simple design is on the Custom House Cardigan site

Internet users like websites to be easy to use and understand. So it makes perfect sense to keep things as simple as possible.

Of course, you don’t want to over-simplify and lose the main purpose of your site’s offering. But concepts, ideas etc. need to broken into bite-size-chunks to make them easier to understand.

Think of any major website and how easy it is to use. These guys are spending millions of pounds on research and development to create their sites and keep improving. We can learn from them.

Take a look at your favourite websites with a view to their design and notice the elements and how they are working together.

Websites can be excellent examples of synergy – where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

As you can see from our own website we tend to prefer things clean and clear. How about you?

2 Responses

  1. Setting up a Facebook app to use with WordPress is actually straightforward, just as well…

  2. this seems to be a design 'no-brainer' – why not do it – add Facebook comments to your site too…