As the Internet move irrevocably from a geeky experiment in TCP/IP to a global communications medium, the largest group of users is becoming overwhelmingly non-technical. Web pages are undeniably the main form of information transfer on the Internet.
Nevertheless, there are still a lot of people who approach the subject of web site design from a technical perspective. Optimising them for search engines rather than human beings. The funny thing is, these people do it so that their pages will rank higher on search engines, and thus get more human visitors.
Another irritating web design method I’ve seen is canvassing the page as if it’s an online animated billboard. The preferred paint would of course be Adobe Flash. I’ve seen my share of slow loading, epilepsy-inducing, speaker-wrecking, 100% Flash-based web sites. The good thing though, is that they’re a dying breed.
I’m glad to have read ALA’s recent article, Human-to-Human Design, where the author explains that a web site’s content should work with and not fight against its content.
The article explains that there are five distinct areas in which your web site design should excelling:
- Respect the visitor
- Tell a story
- Engage the visitor
- Inspire the visitor
- Enchant the visitor
Believe it or not, a web site’s design itself can affect visitors in the areas mentioned above. This is not to say that you should make your web pages pretty while sacrificing on content. You need to achieve both. This is a tough balancing act that can be improved with experience. Therefore, if web pages are important for your business or other income, why not start training yourself from now?