Is Your Web Site Designed For Humans?

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:

  1. Respect the visitor
  2. Tell a story
  3. Engage the visitor
  4. Inspire the visitor
  5. 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?

10 responses to “Is Your Web Site Designed For Humans?”.

  1. ezams Says:

    What do you think about “fluid width theme”?

  2. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Hi ezams,

    Personally, I’m a huge fan of fluid width web design. I feel that fixed width designs are unfairly restrictive for me as a reader of a web page. Puts to waste the real estate of my wide-screen monitors 🙂

    However, I do understand that the web design trend nowadays is focused more and more towards fixed width designs.

    What about your personal preference?

  3. papajoneh Says:

    man, the balancing act of producing good web design and good content is real tough. I know a good content is a must but good design also important. I know a few visitors like to come to those nice design site but ignoring their content.

    Im sure want to achieve both. How I wish that can be happening now. I know i respect my visitors. I just wish I can do the rest too. Especially the “Inspire” part. 🙂

    well done. Another good post for us.

  4. Bryan Says:

    Just like designing a house, I think most people design websites with themselves in mind, not the reader. Though a classic problem in every industry, its good because it keeps the pros in business 🙂

  5. cindy Says:

    Honestly, I like fluid website. They expand according to the viewer’s screen. But sometimes when it comes to designing a nice header, I stick to a fixed width because my header are always a fixed-sized illustration. Unless of course, I came up with a mini logo or something for my header, then I’ll go for a fluid theme.

    Eh, did I go overboard with this comment? 😛

  6. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    papajoneh: But you’re a tough person yourself. I’m sure you’ll only get better 🙂

    Bryan: Hi! Thanks for dropping by. In terms of blogs or other personal web pages, I’m sure that designing it with the webmaster’s likes and wants would suit it just fine. However, with moneytizing web pages getting easier, it’s hard to differentiate when a blog is personal or business.

    cindy: No you didn’t go overboard. In fact I appreciate your opinion, since your blog is one of the most artistically and aesthetically pleasing ones I’ve seen 🙂

  7. Criz Lai Says:

    Nice post…at least I think my blog is more human than AI…LOL. I’m not sure what you think about it. Any feedback? I guessed no matter how, the human touch to maintain the rapport with visitors still rank number one. 🙂

  8. cindy Says:

    Aww.. Azmeen. You say like that I malu oledi. :mrgreen: I’m still a newbie bah. Still in the learning process.

  9. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Criz Lai: Criz, your blog is one with girth, I can tell you that! I love the content and how you organise your ideas in the posts. I also think you are artistically gifted 🙂

    cindy: Why malu? It’s true 🙂

  10. ezams Says:

    Azmeen, thanks for your honest opinion..

    For me, fixed width gives more control to the designer/webmaster while fluid width gives more control to the visitors (eg: no need to drag horizontal scrollbar, etc). It looks like fluid width become a first priority if we tend to please our visitors and of course we do right? But it require slightly high expertise in web design to maintain it, otherwise our site seen ugly and our visitors will run away. I prefer fixed so far and I’ll use the fluid when I could understand web design clearer.