To get us started, here’s a very interesting website to look at: Internet live statistics
It tells us that there are over 3 billion Internet users in the world (that’s over 40% of the world’s population!) and well over 1 billion websites … with both figures increasing at an incredible rate.
And, of course, since you’re reading this right now, you’re one of the “over 3 billion” looking at one of the “well over 1 billion”.
Chances are you’ve looked at vast numbers of websites in your time, of all types and for all purposes (so we’re very pleased you found ours!). Personal and professional. Serious and fun. News. Information. Sport. On-line ordering. Social media. The list goes on.
Just for an experiment, for a given time period (say, one day), quickly list how many different websites you visit, for what purpose, and how “good” the sites were. By “good” we’re not talking about any scientific objective measure, just how closely the site matched what you were looking for, perhaps on a scale of zero to five. This is just for fun, but the reason will become apparent later on!
Each of the websites you’ve visited will have left an immediate impression on you … and if that immediate impression was sufficiently “good” then you’ll have probably stayed on the site for a while, hopefully found what you were looking for, and maybe even bookmarked it to find it easily again later.
For another fun experiment, examine all the sites you’ve bookmarked and categorise them in any way you want.
What we’re getting at is this. Why did you like those sites? What was it about them that made you want to bookmark them or perhaps buy something from them (if they were selling anything)? It’s the answers to these questions that we’re examining over this series of articles – by taking a look at website design.
One set of rules for the website designer and another for the Internet user?
We should point out at this stage that there are (at least) two different ways in which we can look at website design – the way the designer would look at it (ease of programming, functionality etc.) and the way the user would look at it (for example “does it give me what I want?”, “is it interesting?”, “is it easy to navigate?” and so on).
We’ll be looking at it in both ways in this series, but we’ll start from the perspective of the Internet user.
So what are the most important 2 things that I need to know about website design?
- “You only get one chance to make a first impression”
- If you remember nothing else, remember that!
Seriously, think about it. How long do you give a website the first time you look at it before deciding to “dive in” or “move on”? Ten seconds? Twenty? Thirty maybe? You’re too busy and too demanding to waste your time aren’t you?
So, having revealed the most important 2 things you need to know about website design, in our next article we’ll delve into how you can make the right first impression. I bet you can’t wait …