Basic Website Design

So you need a website and your wondering about how best to design it.  Or maybe you are looking at your own website and thinking “Boy! My website sure looks like crap!” and so your wanting a redesign done. (I do that everytime I look at my own website, btw)  So what to do – should you go for a real pretty website?  Should it include lots of the latest flashy dohickys?  Or do you take the functional route?

Here is the point I make with my customers that I think is important enough to share with you – your website design should be determined by who your customers are, what it is they want, and what they are expecting to see.

  • Why are many of the most popular websites on the internet so plain looking? (Craig’s List and the Drudge Report)
  • Why does a bank, that just invested millions in a new website having all the fancy stuff on it, revert back to its former “more simple” version?
  • Why do car companies invest so heavily in their websites? (Mini-Cooper, Ford, etc)

If your website’s function is to give people online access to their bank account – it is a fact that they don’t want a bunch of BS to go with it.  Give them a big green button that says “click here to access your account” and they will be very happy. Same goes with the popular sites like Craig’s List. On the other hand if you are selling a 50 thousand dollar car, maybe it is a good idea to put lots of eye candy on the site.

So take that logic and apply it to your own situation; is your normal website visitor wanting some information quick and easy?  Are they looking to be sold to?  Find out more about your company, just to get directions?  Being able to address these type questions will tend to make the difference between a “good” website – and a “successful” one.

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