How To Build A Great Site

Designing a great website really isn’t that difficult, at least in theory. You just need your visitors to be able to find the information they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it. Ideally you do this while maintaining or enhancing your company image.

How much more simple can you get?

Yet as simple as this goal seems, it can be elusive. The Internet is filled with websites that fall short (sometimes amazingly short) of this goal.

Skilled web site designers know that quality isn’t inherent. Quality requires that each design element work together to accomplish the owner’s purpose, while delivering a positive user experience.

Terrific Text
Text is the single most underrated design element on the modern web. Properly written text supports, enhances, and clarifies other design elements.

There are several ways in which text content should be used:

  • Clarify and define graphical content
  • Label navigation elements
  • Detail offers, products and services
  • Compellingly persuade visitors to take action

Successful sites use well-written text liberally, making a complete and balanced presentation.

Great Graphics
The reason that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is that pictures can convey large-scale, abstract ideas quickly, easily, and transparently.

Frequently however, pictures fail to communicate details that are important to the viewer’s understanding. For example, it’s not possible to draw a picture of a 5 year warranty or affordable financing options.

Successful sites know the purpose and place of pictures, using them to enhance and support the site’s core message.

Masterful Multimedia
Multimedia provides rich opportunities for web site designers. The visitor’s experience can be enhanced by immersive photography, streaming media, and other forms of dynamic visual content.

Unfortunately, it also provides unparalelled opportunities for visual clutter. If a video is playing in the upper left hand corner, that’s where the visitor’s eye (and thus their attention) is. This makes it harder for them to focus on the rest of the page.

Successful sites weigh multimedia with regards to it’s impact. Multimedia that clutters, is distracting, or works against other elements is reworked or eliminated. Each multimedia piece on these sites enriches the visitor’s experience, providing maximum benefit with minimal distraction.