A Web site design doesn't
need to be complicated, or fancy, or flashy. What it does
need to be is organized, intuitive, easy to use, and customer
There are millions of sites on the Web, and
it's all too easy for your visitors to move on to another
site. Your goal is to make your site "sticky" -
a geek term meaning interesting, engaging and friendly - a
site that users will return to again and again.
- Give your users what they want, without
making them wait or making them work for it.
- Make it easy to find the information users
- Make it painless to complete a purchase.
These elements of design are far more important
than making a site look "hi tech" or adding fancy
graphics and movement that don't convey content.
A writer, I believe it was Heinlein, asked
the question: "if you wanted to build a spaceship, would
you add a bathtub simply because you had one on hand?"
The answer, of course, is no. You use exactly what you need
and no more. The principle is similar for Web design; you
use what you need to reach your audience, to suit your purpose.
Extras are optional.
Language is as important as design. Sites
with spelling mistakes, grammar inaccuracies and useless copy
are not appealing to the user.
Studies have shown that people scan content
online more frequently than printed media; users expect condensed
language designed to deliver information in the least amount
of time; Web surfers will not read long chunks of text - they
are looking for the facts, and expect essential information
to be delivered in a pared-down, accessible manner. Additional
information may be appreciated, but that information should
All of the above notwithstanding, design IS
important. Consistency of navigation is absolutely key; the
means to access information must remain constant throughout
the site. Color, image and theme are important elements in
projecting the desired image and feeling for a site. Images
need to be optimized for minimal download time and maximum
visual impact. Text needs to be positioned in a manner that
enables maximum reading comfort. (For example, it is MUCH
easier to read a column of text that does not span the entire
width of a Web page. One half or one third of the page is
a more reasonable column width for reading.) Text also needs
to be presented in a way that is generally understandable,
readable, and accessible to users with disabilities. Text
font, size and color all work to create a pleasant reading
At Wolfhound Web Design, we've spent a great
deal of time thinking about these issues and others that are
important to good design and a great user experience. Maybe
we don't get out enough, but it's what we care about: good
Please if you are interested in learning more about the principles
of design and usability or if you'd like to discuss having
WWD handle your site designs.
The goal of a site is a good experience for
your users; our goal is to create a good experience for you.