In the high age of digital content, the majority of us source our information through websites. It is difficult to expect everyone to find the time, let alone have the patience to wait for hourly news, skim through magazines, or sit down with a newspaper on their lap. It’s simply a matter of convenience, and a lot of traditional media outlets are just discovering that ink is getting expensive. Everything is incredibly fast-paced, so naturally how we consume our information has changed. The media evolved to survive with our ever-shortening attention spans being constantly under attack by endless sources of information, and with evolution, it’s very much a case of survival of the fittest. Websites are no different.
The internet can very often be an assault on your senses, so it makes sense to familiarise yourself with how to build a website that people can trust. A website that people will come back to, time and time again, because it has demonstrated its ability to provide the necessary information, all bundled together with a clean, user-friendly interface, engaging content, and intelligently composed code underlying the functionality of the website. This is what the tech-savvy world has come to expect from the better websites out there.
So, you have the skeleton of a website, the spinal column neatly aligned, you’ve written thousands of lines of code to support the structure, now to add the flesh. So much of website design nowadays is about the external veneer- the user interface. This is you extending a hand to greet them in the hopes that they will want to hear what you have to say.
Is your display going to be compartmentalised into card or tile format, or will you opt for one massive background image, with text overlaying it? Will you engage in the new trend of monochromatic palettes, or do you favour the visually striking, hyper-coloured display? Why use several shades of grey when the entire rainbow is at your disposal? These are your design choices, and what matters to you, will inevitably matter to the end-user. Your design influences their level of interest, their level of engagement, and their level of user-satisfaction.
8 years ago Oliver Reichenstein published an article stating that Web Design is 95% typography. How would that bold statement survive today? When we’re flooded with dynamic images every minute of every day, constantly shifting content, imagery becomes a language in itself. It’s a principle in advertising for a reason. With scrolling websites, the user is engaged through the sense of movement, even animation, in their simple, yet versatile interaction.
How convenient is your website for the mobile user, and the many devices they might be carrying in their bag or pocket? When everyone is on the move, it makes sense to facilitate that percentage of the market. Keep in mind that 30% of all mobile users are now smartphone users, with an 81% rise in mobile data traffic.
Clean and concise coding equates to elegant coding, and will be far more suitable than anything elaborate and complex. While there is a time and a place for complex code, more often than not, a clean and elegant solution is far more manageable for both coder and end-user. The same is true for site navigation. Ideally, you will provide a sense of minimalist navigation- people no longer have the time for overly-complicated and tedious searches when an alternative website is just a Google search away.
Companies want to know what consumers are interested in. They want to understand developing patterns and trends, and intelligently designed websites are no different. They want to know what you want, in order to provide it for you in future. This is one of the core concepts underpinning Search engine optimisation, one of the many topics covered in the in-depth, friendly, and interactive learning environment provided by the Code Institute. Ask yourself: does the world want to hear what I want to say? Then ask, how do I professionally equip myself to stay afloat in an endless ocean of content?