Have you ever experienced this uncomfortable feeling when you cannot pinpoint exactly what is wrong with something? You see the problem but lack words to express yourself. And then, one day, the answer is suddenly there…
I have spent the last six years observing how websites work and what makes them successful or not. This particular process has helped me to design my own page in a way that is very efficient and attractive to visitors — according to their comments and emails.
About two or three years ago, I started noticing that there was something wrong with many websites. I was unable to pinpoint the exact problem until very recently.
I was approached by someone who was looking for constructive criticism regarding their website. As I took the time to look around, I discovered that despite the great potential, some areas really needed improvement. The entire website was in Flash. Each page displayed a different design with changing menus, fonts and moving graphics that grabbed the attention away from the main content. The problem was inconsistency and a lack of interactivity: No social bookmarking button was there.
So, I let the person know my thoughts. This is what they answered: “Well, the website was designed that way to express who I am, the multi-levels of me and my mind, and my way of seeing life.” The response triggered something off in my mind and I suddenly realized that I had the answer to the problem I had noticed.
A website is not about you; it is about your visitors. Its design should not reflect your personality, but rather the message that you want to convey through your business. A website is an online résumé whose only purpose is to answer questions people may have.
In brief, it is not about creativity. It is about conducting business and being efficient.
Now, what do you think? What, according to you, is the real purpose of a website?