Getting More From Website Design

Wednesday, 11 August 2010 at 5:48 am Pacific USA Time.

With over 15 years in the biz of designing websites, I can finally put into words how online sellers and businesses can get more from web design and your website designer.

When starting a project, a typical web designer wants to know what you sell, what colour you like, if you have a logo, and a few pictures of what you sell. You typically end up with a website that looks like everybody else's, but with your logo and a few pictures of what you sell slapped up there.

There is a whole other school of thought when it comes to designing websites, and it's often called UX/UI, standing for "user experience/user interface." The idea is that an expert in this area is not just thinking about the layout and design of a website. He or she is taking into consideration…

  • Profiles of typical users/shoppers. Who are these people? What's important to them? Why are they coming to your website?
  • Messaging… what do we need to tell these people and in what order? How do we phrase it so that people have to do the least reading and thinking?
  • Navigation… how will people get around the website? Are you putting a bunch of rows of choices up top and then more down the sides? Does that really work for non-thinkers and non-readers? :) What are fresher and more intuitive ways to plan the navigation?
  • The best in modern design. Boxy websites with heaps of columns and dizzying home pages seem so 2002. There are better ways to design now. You don't need to settle for the same old ways, which I think for the most part don't really work for how people surf the web and how people think.

As a UX/UI expert, I think bringing in someone like me bring a whole other dimension to your website. It will help it stand out, and be easier to use. The less time people spend thinking and reading, the more important it is to have a website that is easy and obvious to use. It's more important to have a home page that makes sense, connects with your audience, and projects the most important messages in ways that make sense to your shopper.

You have such little time to make an impression on people, and technology is getting wackier… I see more and more sites using Flash while Apple is blocking Flash on everything. So if you build something in Flash, you've just kissed off everybody who might hit your site from an iPad, iPhone, or iPod as well as most mobile phones.

A UX/UI person is dedicated to making something truly work for your business. A website designer (typically) wants to take what you already have, throw it together, and get it online. It's often not very creative, and often doesn't take "deeper" ideas into account, like how your shopper is likely to behave, where your shoppers eyes will naturally go, and what messages your shopper needs in what order. A website designer typically does what you say whereas a UX/UI person is often in more of a consulting and expert role. It's not that I don't do what you say, but it's more of a relationship where the client knows they are coming to me to take advantage of my years of expertise and experience.

If you'd like a quote on some really special website work, please get in touch with us at

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Categories: That's Good Marketing

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