All month long, Edge of the Web Radio will be focused on website design and best practices in design strategy. Last week, we covered user optimization. This week the focus is on reasons why the best design is invisible. Good design isn’t something the average user will look at and appreciate. Rather, it takes a good, keen eye to critique what is good and not so good design.
According to Carrie Cousins of Design Shack, “Good design is something that is easy to use, read, and interact with. It makes users want to engage and experience your website, app or physical material and evokes a specific emotional response.” Cousins concludes that good design is “pretty much invisible” and gives ten specific reasons why.
Tricks don’t ‘sell’ design projects
According to Cousins, “tricks don’t ‘sell’ design projects.” We all have seen designers turn to embellishments or “tricks” to try and make their websites snazzy, but this is their first mistake. Here, at Site Strategics, we always stress to our clients the need for strategy. There always needs to be a strategy behind why you’re doing something, from the colors you use on your website to attracting the right type of client. The end goal should always be to move your clients’ goals forward.
Unseen mathematical principals create harmony
We’ve all heard about the Golden Ratio and the Rule of Thirds, but there are additional mathematical theories that play a role in design and account for how it can affect the look and feel of projects. For example, “Using grids to create a design outline is one of the most common mathematical tools for designers. By setting up invisible columns or rows in a document to help determine object placement, you help create a distinct sense of order,” said Cousins.
Color has plenty of meaning
As we stated previously, color elicits emotion. “Color creates emotional connections and associations for people consciously and subconsciously,” said Cousins. You learn to associate colors with emotions and actions from an early age. Red means stop; green means go; and yellow means caution.
Copy can engage and wow
Our team is very fortunate here to have a content manager who understands that copy must engage and connect with the reader. “Different people process information in different ways – and that goes back to researching and knowing your audience,” said Lynnell Nixon Content Manager at Site Strategics. “Personally I love the written word, but I love a clever visual as well.” In the end, whoever creates content should be a good communicator in the particular medium being used and be overseen by someone who understands the overall strategy.
Simple is easy to understand
You’ve heard the saying time and time again, “Keep it simple, stupid.” Yet that is often hard for a majority of designers to do. Cousins quoted C.W. Ceram in her article saying, “Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.”
Readable text should be the focus
“Let’s be perfectly clear: It does not matter how pretty or special or cool your typeface is if people can’t clearly read it,” said Cousins. The focus should always be readability first and foremost. Just because the typeface is trendy doesn’t mean it deserves a place in your design.
Interactions should work seamlessly
Our highly experienced website design professionals at Site Strategics are able to develop sites that appeal to both users and search engines. By comparing features of your site, including calls-to-action, ad locations, headlines, descriptions, images, layout, style, and form field designs, our team provides clients with powerful and long-lasting marketing tools that continue to reap significant long-term benefits.
Design should mirror reality
“The design has to work and function in a way that users simply understand,” said Cousins. If the user understands the design, then he or she will believe the message that is trying to come across. It takes the perfect blend of creativity mixed with reality so that users can relate to the design. Furthermore, they must believe the design is real.
Change is not always obvious
Some designers believe it’s important to push update after update, however, that isn’t always the best solution. According to Cousins, “…pushing updates too frequently can annoy and frustrate users, so some elements of the design should change without most people even knowing it.” That’s the secret folks – making changes, but not making them so obvious that it throws off your users.
Create design magic
Site Strategics is always trying to press upon our clients that there must be a strategy behind everything that we do for them, because without that overall guiding plan, every action is based on reaction. The search engine optimization of your site is one of the most important design elements we focus on during the entire website creation process. We practice “White Hat SEO,” which includes practices like expert keyword analysis, site structure optimization, internal and external linking, and optimized content creation. Our services help to complement the overall design strategy that has been mapped out for each client.
To read Cousins’ entire article, click here.