Web Design: What Really Matters?

October 12, 2008 at 6:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’ve been reading this week about different opinions on Web site design. There is a sea of opinions out there, full of currents pulling in different directions. Some recommend simplicity and clarity as priorities, while others say you’ve got to have all the details to offer a complete experience. Some say you should absolutely use forms to gather information, while others say you should get rid of them, or at least minimize them.


The opinions that make the most sense to me are the ones that emphasize perspective. For example, Indi Young explains in her article, “Look at It Another Way,” the importance of seeing from someone else’s perspective. After all, we are not always our target audience, right? (Think of a twenty-two-year-old designing a site for Miracle-Ear, or a male copywriter waxing eloquent on the benefits of Tampax.) Like looking at an optical illusion, we have to adjust the way we view things to glimpse the way someone will approach and use our site. Aaron Rester, in “Mapping Memory,” writes that when we design a Web site, we are not so much architects as mappers, because our audience already has established ways of doing things. We need to perceive our audience’s habits and perspectives in order to design a site that will fit them like a glove. The alternative is a site that may showcase our company and our way of organizing things but leaves the visitor out in the cold, lost and unappreciated.


Do you see both the young lady and the old woman?

Do you see both the young lady and the old woman?




What do you think about Web design and what’s most important? Of these three sites, which do you think works best?


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