Web Design

Web Design

download (2)

A somewhat recent article that circulated on Mashable made the (in our opinion) false claim for web design having no future. Their reasoning was readily available, well-designed mass market templates and near idiot proof template applications options that currently exist. Also a factor is content spread on different platforms via mobile apps or Facebook.

Should you subscribe to an extremely narrow definition of web design, like only “making it pretty,” then perhaps, it’s on it final legs… and good riddance to those “web designers.” Every website I must use that is crammed full of stock photos of people that are happy, smiley really pisses me off… and please don’t get me started on those “free template” driven websites out there, also.

Then there are the websites made to win awards beautiful, perhaps, but generally at the expense of those dirty little things like menus, navigation controls, or real world info. I have watched too many users struggle with such a website. In our humble opinion opinion, the internet was never thought to be “designed” in the very first place. HTML expressly removed reference to positioning, spacing, color and layout so the content might be shown in a device-agnostic manner. That was way before “high tech” devices as we understand them (cell phones, smart TVs, wifi games consoles, etc) existed.

Afterward came CSS, which made the print designers happy because they could push pages to look like paper. How about the huge argument about whether it was not too late to optimize for 1024×768 rather than 800×600? Driving users to see things the way you thought is a conceit that you just cannot manage. This really is the internet, not an art gallery. There is always another website individuals can turn to for their advice in case your high-artwork design confuses them too much. Always remember; a confused client is an unhappy client!

I would rather define design as doing thus purposefully, and developing a powerful interaction where both parties agree on the road to successful completion. If the client is “wishy-washy” then its up to the designer to make their idea, their clients idea too. People change slowly, however they do transform!

Now that we have been compelled to construct for multiple possible layouts and unknown display sizes, we’ll pay more heed to the initial goals of the internet. It is about information dissemination. Any design that helps in information dissemination is probably going to be successful. Any design that obfuscates it is going to die out.


Focusing on the technology that helps designers– images programs, scripting software, layout engines, API hooks –misses the point. Who among the web design community are utilizing the exact same tools now that you were five years back? Technologies and tools come and go… user needs and quest for the “latest/greatest” don’t!

No end user cares which content management system powers your upgrades or what platform you are building on. They just care about the interaction they have with your website, and whether that interaction seamlessly and instantly gives them the info they needed.

With that said, quit designing websites. Yes, QUIT designing websites! Begin designing interactions strengthening a communicative message. Should you reveal just a little humility, perform some research that demonstrates you understand the clients ends goal while contemplating the reasons individuals interact with websites the manner that they do. This will enable a website that helps the end user locate what they need quickly and easily… if that is truly accomplished, then you are designing an interaction instead of simply making (designing) something for the sake of “completing” a project. Your clients/users will thank you for it by giving you both short-term and long-term business.

One of our favorite sayings at dite.biz is, “The Only Constant is Change!”

Web Designer versus Client

Top web design blog sites will give you helpful tutorials, the most recent business news and “how-to’s.”  Many will share exclusive guidance from experienced experts and inspirational showcases of successful sites.  Having this information all at your fingertips will undoubtedly allow you to keep a beat on the sector.

As a web designer, it may be hard to find out the purpose of every website at first.  Did your client bring you another website to compare and offer “inspiration?”  To make matters even more challenging, the net is home to thousands of websites of all varieties that tend to confuse potential clients/customers by overwhelming them with a gazillion choices!

One the best and possibly overlooked methods to construct websites is simple; ask the appropriate questions from your client. It is imperative that everyone is on the same page.  Discuss desired intent, time-frame and then at the appropriate time, budget.  Inquire about intent, targets and how results will be quantified.  Ask questions that enable you to help the customer understand the worth of an endeavor that is successful to their entire company or project.  When this is accomplished one can then concentrate on the work as a professional investment instead of simply a price.

Oftentimes designers are most worried about visual and usability questions when to get in the core of a great layout you should be asking questions regarding the individuals who will hopefully land on their website.  In regard to the design, functionality and message, the customer needs to be very specific about their “end goal” and make sure that the world wide web understands the finished project.

Look way past the design layout. Significant features which make a site really beam and stand out are frequently missed.  Think about Search Engine Optimization and how this may drive more visitors to the website as well as help with general messaging. Many web designs that are visually stunning and offer state-of-the-art functionality, are not increasing sales because the developer and client spent way too much time with wiz-bang designs and not the all important factor. . .  conversion!

It should be noted that most web designers are not marketing experts and therein lies the all important factor of communication between all involved in the project.  Spend the necessary time “thinking out loud” and consult the right people within the organization before placing the first keystroke to the process.  Communication is KING!

Take a moment and watch this amusing and all too (at times) true video.  We will see you next update!