Author Archives: christophorus

Poor Design Can Mean Horrible Websites Are Still A Threat To The Internet

There’s probably not a single anyone reading this who isn’t lost in space and time as they browse the internet. A wealth of engaging information, so many intriguing questions as well as a lot of rubbish too.

The (revised) saying is:

Give someone a fish to give them food for a day. Then, teach them to make use of the internet and they’ll stop bothering you for several weeks.

Although it is true that the World Wide Web has come quite a considerable distance in the time since it first introduced over twenty years ago we still encounter the “try-too-hard website” where designers wrongly believe that users come to the site to enjoy the “experience”. They don’t. They are looking for information. Any thing that slows them to get the information is just frustrating.

The idea of annoying your customers isn’t going to be beneficial for your businesses, but websites that are prone to this type of behavior aren’t unusual – as can be seen in the most recent year-long ranking of 25 of the worst websites.

More disturbing is the site for an James Bond museum located in Sweden that was which was picked up by a different web reviewer.

Despite the increasing amount of people using the internet using smartphones There are several websites that offer loads of busy content, Flash animations and slow-loading graphics that even desktop computers would be unable to display them.

No Design Guidelines Are In Place

Of course, there aren’t guidelines for what websites should look like however there are technical specifications to govern how they function beneath the surface.

Designers of websites do what they believe will serve the best interests of whoever pays them.

This could include some terrible dazzle websites. It could even be the installation of malware that is hidden (malicious software).

The web can be an unclean and dangerous place like the late author Kurt Vonnegut laconically observed back in 2005, during his conversation with ABC’s Phillip Adams.

“(It has) allowed white-collar criminals to do what the mob would have loved to do – put a porn shop and a loan shark in every home.”

When it concerns Web design and development, individuals tend to do what they believe they can do.

Bad Design

There are many opinions on what a good or bad web design is There are a few things that people seem to be able to have a common understanding on. They include:

  • Not being mobile-friendly
  • The overuse of Flash animations
  • Pop-up windows
  • Audio or video which plays in a loop
  • Excessive content, particularly when it is poorly organized
  • Unsuitable typography
  • Slow loading
  • Installation of advertising software and malware
  • Too many advertisements
  • low contrast in the visual
  • Poor navigation aids
  • Unrelated or self-indulgent content, and the overuse of stock images

This list isn’t exhaustive however, it covers the majority of complaints regarding websites.

Good Design

The description of bad design raises the question, what makes good design? Many orthodox views claiming to be facts has been written on the issue, but let’s get straight to the point.

One of the greatest designers of the contemporary period, German industrial designer Dieter Rams was able to distill a lifetime of top-quality work into ten essential elements of good design.

It’s true that Rams developed physically-based objects instead of web pages, but his human-centric design principles are able to capture the essence of human-centered design such that an excellent argument could be made for incorporating them into web design, as well as all other artworks.

Here are Rams Ten Principles in the way I’d like to like to see them applied to web design.

  • Innovative – It avoids clich├ęs and outdated methods, and utilizes the latest technology to create new user interfaces and functions.
  • Usability/Usability – User has no problem in finding what they are searching for. The content is short, high-quality and accurate. The site is compatible with different browsers and search engines and other applications that work with it.
  • Aesthetic – It is an harmony between function and form. The layout of colors and spacings, as well as typefaces are in sync with one another to make users feel comfortable while using it.
  • Simple to comprehend – The site is simple to comprehend and easy to use. The design is perfectly in line with the objectives of the site.
  • Simple and unobtrusive – The “less is more” principle. Simple and minimal to the point that only what is necessary is displayed only that, nothing else. Users can find the information they need quickly. They are not lost or get diverted in the process.
  • Honest – The website is honest and transparent regarding what’s going on. It provides users with all the options that they require in the moment they require it, so they are aware. The design doesn’t hinder providing the user with what they need.
  • Longevity – The site remains functional and useful as time passes, not through remaining the same, but by evolving and staying relevant. This is applicable to both website layout and content.
  • Complete – There is nothing missed all that is required to be in place.
  • Eco-friendly – This site is the most efficient could be through cutting down on the amount of data which needs to be downloaded and images that are optimized for the web, and other such. While this has a minimal impact in the environmental sphere, however the concept of lean efficiency is nevertheless important.
  • Minimalist – A design as feasible as is possible “less but better”. The site is based on the essentials and does not have non-essential information. It’s a site that is simplicity.

Some might argue that these ideas might be relevant during those days of the Cold War era but has little to do with great web design in the present.

This would miss the fact that the fundamentals that guide good design remain applicable and can be applied across all fields. Let me finish: Let Rams as well Apple’s top vice-president for design Jonathan I’ve describe their concepts by describing their ideas in the form of a personal essay.