There are many known ways how to design a website. However, there may be a single better principle for creating efficient websites.
How to design a website?
Before speaking about how one can design a site, let's speak about how currently web developers create websites. During the process of creating a sketch, numerous factors are considered:
- web site navigation
- the amount of graphics
- the amount of text
- general theme of a site and much more
However, what else should be taken into account when designing efficient websites? If we want our site to be successful with our potential customers, we'd better make it work for them. To do this, we must take our target audience into account as well.
What do the people want?
There are many ways to gather information about what the target people actually want: marketing research, surveys, focus groups, usability testing (lab and/or remote), etc. However, these studies fail to grasp everything a visitor might need. Perhaps there could be a single method to define common things that all customers appreciate in the web sites that designers can use?
Designing for simplicity
To design a site for a human, we must think like humans. When thinking about what a human may want about site, let's consider the following: the humans have existed for thousands of years, while the computers have existed for less than a century. Due to this, we must make a website exceptionally easy to use and this should become a corner stone of the design process.
A single method
Sure, one can object that simple can be viewed from many perspectives. All people have different experience, knowledge and computer skills, which all affect their success with the websites. That's why we need to find a better way of comparing a prototype to the site we want. Let's consider designing websites, where humans can act as naturally as they can in the real life.
So what is 'a natural design'?
When designing naturally, a human visitor should be able to do whatever he feels like doing at a moment of visiting a website. Though it may sound unclear, it can be brough to more specific guidelines. For instance, here are a couple:
- every important element of the site should be noticeable
- links for additional information: links to consequential article parts, more detailed product reviews, etc
- links to continue visiting the site, such as "Add to cart" buttons, etc
- the pages should have clear focus on the subject
- pages should be written in clear language
- words used on the site, should resemble the vocabulary of the visitor
- pages are formatted for more comfortable reading
- and more.
A natural website should be the one, where the visitor doesn't feel like he's reading a website from the monitor. The site visitor should feel like he is inside the monitor, walking around the site, without being distracted by any thoughts, unrelated to his or her goal.
A new concept?
Though such a term as 'natural design' may be new, in fact, it has many synonyms. For instance, such basic principles as designing for the human, ease of use and simplicity are used in the following disciplines:
- User Inteface Engineering
- Human Computer Interaction
- Website Usability
- Ergonomics and many others.
The principle of natural websites is not a new concept for you to boggle on. It simply fortifies such ideas as designing for the humans first, computers second, designing simple, yet efficient, designs and other equally human-centered objectives.
Hopefully, this article should inspire a thought or two into the heads of creative web designers, who put their artistic mind above their clients customers' value. Perhaps this happens because web designers are not involved with the project as close as marketing managers..but I digress.
If you have any more ideas, related to designing natural websites, feel free to share them here.