The design of a website makes or breaks a company nowadays. It won’t matter if a website has a ton of useful information and is packed with features if the design is clunky. A badly designed website will put off prospective clients, especially with competition so high these days. The perspective of website design has changed from what looks good to what is easy to use. Usability and utility reign supreme, and everything else revolves around it. A well made website shuns superfluous, clunky elements and streamlines all navigation.
To properly cater to a need, first we must examine the need itself. Thus, first we will examine what the market wants out of a good website, what attracts it and what need we will be fulfilling. Customer behavior is our first focus. This will drive the basic principles we might adhere to when we design a website.
Customer Behavior – the shiniest guiding light for designers
Customers do not read or examine the full website on their first visit. Like a recruiter spending about 6 seconds on each CV, a customer merely glances over the website and navigates away from each page as soon as some outgoing link catches their interest. The new page is subjected to the same treatment unless it is deemed satisfactory. If it is, users go back to the page they came from and continue to scan it.
Most users are willing to bear advertisements and bad design if the website or webpage they are looking at is high quality. High quality content is prized, and this is one area you should not compromise on. Also, it is important to remember that users scan through web content, they rarely read the entire print. Thus, it is important to break up the text to make it easier for them to find the content they are looking for. (more…)