According to Nielsen, the average internet user visits a whopping 2,646 websites per month. While the majority of our time on the Internet is spent visiting familiar websites (e-mail, social media, search engines, etc.) we also navigate unfamiliar, terribly frustrating websites. We know a bad website when we see it, but what characteristics make up a good website?
I’ve been taking Fundamentals of Web Design, a continuing education course at the Kansas City Art Institute, and it’s made me look at websites in a whole new way. Here are some tips the class has taught me about web design:
Always start with your audience in mind. What information is your audience searching for? Don’t make them jump through hoops to get the information they need. Start by really trying to understand your audience. Plenty of research, strategy and planning should happen on the back-end before you dig into developing the site.
Simplicity is key.
Think about the simplicity of Google’s web interface- no frills, just what we need. Make the navigation on the site as natural and intuitive as possible so that pieces of information are available right where the user thinks they should be available. And just because you can create a website full of technological bells and whistles, doesn’t mean you should. Minimalist web design is refreshing.
Think about what’s inside the box- not just the package.
Writing content for the web is not the same as writing for a brochure or newsletter. Website content should be concise, scannable and captivating. Content should be optimized for search engine optimization (SEO) but also human and engaging.
And lastly what I learned from my class…
Drink caffeine and try not to space out if you want to learn code.
Seriously, it’s like learning another language.
Web design should be about keeping your audience and their needs front and center. Want to learn more? There are countless blogs out there on web design; check out Web Design Ledger and Vandelay Design for more tips.Tagged Holly Eckold, Morningstar Communications, Web Design Tips
Comments are closed.February 29, 2012