What Constitutes Good and Bad Web Design?

image: kaboompics.com

This author of the New York Times is a victim of website design usability. She stresses the fact that the websites she searched while she was in London were difficult to read due to the languages used, the navigation bars, and even cognitive overload. At first, the author just wanted to find the information she was looking for on exhibitions in her area. She grew more and more frustrated at the website because of the lack of navigation, and the limited use of English.

She believes that, “a well-designed Web site needs to deliver the same things as most other examples of good design by fulfilling its intended function efficiently and engagingly.” I think this is something most web designers should strive for. Simplicity, easy to navigate and use, as well as engaging and pleasing to look at. This leads to the author stating that a common mistake she finds is that designers prioritize style over substance.

The author makes a good point further down, when she mentions that planning the site before building it is an essential part of effective design. It is imperative that as web designers, we build the site in terms of the visitors of the site. We should design and build the website in the eyes of our primary audience.

According to the author, while searching for places to venture during her trip in London, she came across a London restaurant, Quo Vadis. “The home page looks like the front page of an old-fashioned newspaper, and you simply click on the relevant section, like “Today’s Menus” or “Reservations,” to retrieve the information. The charm of the site is that it shares the witty illustrative style of Quo Vadis’s menus, bills and the other elements of the visual identity it has adopted since the Scottish chef Jeremy Lee took over a year ago.”

This analyzation of the site is spot on. Somehow, the website conveys a London-like feeling. The featured image below the navigation bar is simplistic, and portrays the culture of London by the people, like the dog-walkers and the finely dressed. Because it is in all black and white, the site is easy to read and navigate. This is considered good web design because there is minimal design and not too many buttons to click, providing the user with a better navigation experience to find the information they seek.


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