Form and Function With Website Design
I was reminded the other day about something when talking with a client. This was one of those situations where we are working with his existing website. We didn’t create it and we’re consulting with him to help make it better. This way, we’re keeping his budget in mind and helping him get the most bang for his buck from his current website. Often, a smart move is to see what kind of mileage you can get out of a current design and then, once it’s doing better and is profitable, go ahead and talk redesign.
With that, we like to first give the website a complete evaluation so that we have a good idea of what we’re dealing with. We did that. One of the things that was bothering me was his website’s navigation.
Typically, you don’t want to hide things. What I like to say is that you don’t want the website visitor to have to do something in order to see something important. That’s why I’m against drop-down fields in forms, for example, except for things like a list of states because you know what’s hidden and showing what’s there on the page would just take up too much room.
This client’s website was an e-commerce website, so getting sales was of course, top priority. The problem with his website’s navigation was that in order to see all the store categories, the website visitor needed to mouse over a menu and then a drop down would appear. That’s hiding something very important. There was a high chance that people would not do that and miss all that his website was offering. We had to change that for sure.
Design Does Matter
My point is that how a website is designed does matter. We tend to stay away from all the “latest and greatest” website gimmicks that are out there – meaning, the “cool factor” stuff. We do this because how we look as the website designer is not at all a priority. What matters is how the websites we make work and how well they produce results for our clients.
There’s a trap that most website designers fall into. They think that if they create something that’s really “cool” for their client, then their client will be really happy with them. Ok, sure – that might work some of the time. The problem is that the “cool factor” wears off – especially when the website isn’t paying for itself or making a profit. That’s not “cool” at all. They may also find that some of these fancy features don’t work in some web browsers or on mobile devices. How is that supposed to be a good thing?
Keep it Simple, Stupid!
Simple is cool. Actually, making a website that is clean and professional looking is a lot of work. It’s not easy. It takes planning and skill. We’ve got that.
If you need things spinning and flying around, well… I’m sure we can help you but we’ll first try to talk you out of that. We’ll want to make sure that you know the consequences. Some companies honestly want that happening on their website but most others want results and success.
If you want a website that gets results and a designer that’s not going to talk you into the “cool” stuff so that we can charge you an arm and a leg, then give Webstix a call today. Let’s work together to make something great!