Design seem to be a hot issue these days…
2004 at 12.16 pm posted by Veerle Pieters
There is a lot of discussion going on lately about the importance of design in weblogs and also in how far we are considered as designers within the function of a web designer. How important is the design part of a web project? Are we just some small part of the entire process? Is design just something we can ignore in a weblog? That's what Microsoft engineer Robert Scoble is saying:
"Forget making it pretty. If you try to make it pretty we'll just read it in our RSS News Aggregator which doesn't pass along design info anyway."
This got me thinking beyond weblogs.
What defines a good website in general?
What comes first, what has second priority etc.? The look, functionality and content are all important ingredients to define whether a website is good or bad. Personally I would place look and functionality first before content but on the other hand, there are some exceptions.
Take for instance Google, you go to Google just to search so functionality comes first. Looks are just basics. Another example is, say you are looking for a certain hot article on a newspaper site. At that moment the only importance is to find what you are looking for so again functionality and content comes first. If you however go to a site like a clothing brand or online shop, then design will be the most important part before functionality and content. I would never buy or trust a website that doesn't look professional. Take Amazon for instance, they approach you with content based on your previously bought items. Why do I use Amazon? Because it's nice to browse around (look and functionality is OK), and the content is valuable and last but not least, their shipment is fast. I once tried out Proxis (Belgian online store) to buy a cd and it took them more then 5 weeks to deliver it. So even if this site is appealing, which it isn't, I won't buy there again. First impression is everything. It's for us web designers to make compromises and make sure that all values are considered. It's our job that it looks good and that it is still very functional. Content however is in the hands of the client.
If only the look is OK but there is a lack of functionality and content then I consider the site bad, even if the design is really mind-blowing. It just fails in my opinion. Lots of Flash sites have that effect, certainly those where you have to torture you brain to find out where to click.
Some of the design issues and discussion:
What is your opinion on this matter? How do you define a good website? What makes you decide to go deeper?