Design Run Amok

by Joe B on August 3, 2011

Have you ever been to a website where you had to hunt for the menu items? I was at such a website the other day. It was a very¬†aesthetically pleasing site, but totally dysfunctional. The menu items were hidden in objects around the site, but you didn’t know an object was a menu item until you rolled the cursor over it.

We’ve had clients come to us and say they want a website that is different and fun. We love being creative. However, while being creative, you must keep in mind that a website must be functional first. You can use some different and fun elements on the site, but the site must be functional. Studies have shown that while people may initially be intrigued by a site that is different, whether they will actually use that site depends upon how easily they can find what they are looking for.

The reason most websites are set up similarly (i.e. a header at the top, a menu at the top or on the side and content below or next to the menu) is the same reason that books are similar (i.e. a cover with the title, a table of contents, the contents on numbered pages in numerical order and an index, all bound together). How many of you would buy a book that had a beautiful cover but the table of contents, pages and index were all out of order?

The point is don’t get caught up in design that is too clever by half. Unless you are a graphic designer or computer programmer, your website visitors are not coming to your website to see those skills on display. Clever gimmicks only distract from your message and make it harder for website visitors to find what they are looking for.

When it comes to website design be creative, be remarkable, but always, be easy to use!




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