Good design is simple, yet sophisticated
““Don’t Make Me Think” It’s the name of a leading book by web usability guru Steve Krug and an overriding principle in all web design projects we produce. Good design is simple, yet sophisticated. It should be easily understandable and usable. And if it isn’t, people won’t stick around to figure out how.
What are some aspects of good design?
Well I’m glad you asked. Let’s start with navigation. Site navigation done right blends into the background and is easily understandable and useable. Most of all navigation needs to be consistent throughout the web site. Some questions to ask in regards to navigation:
- Is the navigation bar easy to understand and use?
- Does the navigation indicate where a user is at each page?
- Does your site have a site map (html page for the user and xml file for the search engines)?
- Are all your links underlined ( a convention users are comfortable with and expect)
Text and graphics also require thoughtful use as a part of a well designed site. Does the background provide a good contrast for the text? Is the text big enough for the user (consider your target market, if they are over 50 bigger text is needed). Are the columns narrow enough to make reading easier on the screen? With graphics a well placed photo or illustration will reinforce the message of the text. Also graphic with links require a corresponding text link and alt.tag (needed for web accessibility). These are just a few considerations in designing a successful web site.
And once the site is completed we’ll perform usability testing to ensure it will be used as designed. Usability testing doesn’t need to be a big budget affair. We do “over the shoulder” testing as Steve Krug describes in his book. It is simple and highly effective is finding the big issues first, before launching your site.
Most of all it is your site
Lastly but most of all, we will listen thoroughly to your input on how you want your site to look and function. You site needs to reflect your company’s unique personality and brand. The corporate website is an extension of that brand.