Who’s the Judge of Top Website Designs?
I would argue that due to the advances in browsers and coding that the phrase Top Website Designs is not the same as it was. When the Internet started out, websites were virtually electronic pieces of paper connected together. Graphic designers could easily create the look of a website. They would pass the design to a developer to install. Today, I believe you can’t design a website unless you know the functionality that can be implemented within a website.
Top Website Designs Today
Today, we have multiple screen sizes, content streaming from various sites, video, content triggers based on location, etc. A good website design must take into consideration all types of information. If you have multiple pieces of information with a limited amount of screen you have to think about what information is important to the visitor. In order to figure that out, you have to define your visitors (best potential customers) and what they want when they come to your site.
Information is what people are wanting when they come to your website. If cool looking graphics get in the way of them finding what they want, I would consider that a poor website. Unfortunately, if someone would look at the site visually they may think it’s a great website. People rarely go to a website to look at pretty pictures. They want information to help them make a transactional decision.
Form Must Follow Function
If you’re a traditional designer, you hate that statement but if you’re one of the new UX website designers you totally agree. Each visual medium (TV, magazines, Internet, mobile phone, billboards, Newspaper, etc.) has a different user experience. For instance, people will read the newspaper for hours but on a website they need to find what they’re looking for in seconds or they go back to Google. The user-experience is what’s important, not the look of the website.
Top Website Designs should be built first with an understanding of persona’s. Persona is a big word for most prominent prospective customers. Good website design starts with understanding who is coming to the website and what each persona wants from your website. Once you have that understood you create process flows to define how each persona will make their decision.
Information Architecture of Top Website Designs
Once you have an understanding of who’s coming to the site and what they need you
start to layout the information. Content is king from an SEO standpoint but also from a usability standpoint. Remembering that people don’t read websites like a newspaper it’s important to have your content broken up into chunks. Chunks that can be quickly identified and relevant to the visitor. As the visitor moves down in the content the amount of content grows.
Top Website Designs Are Really…
In my opinion, the only way you can judge a website is to put yourself in the shoes of someone that needs the products and/or services that the website promotes. From there you need to see how quickly you can find the information you need and how understandable that information is. The next and most important part is that the visitor can easily take the next step of ordering or getting in touch with someone quickly.
I don’t believe top website designs are websites that necessarily look good. It’s about the users experience and even though the look is part of that experience it’s not the only part of a great website experience.