Monday, 9 March 2015

EVENT: Newcastle University - What Is Great Website Design?

I was asked to give a talk to some 90 students from the University of Newcastle yesterday.

The talk was meant to be about the processes that underlie many website development. This is something that I was involved with some 15 years as CEO of onebestway, winning a few awards - worldwide - on the road.

I found that when I was writing the content of the talk, all I really wanted to talk about the content, messages or brand.

I think I've become bored with unnecessarily overly complicated and grandiose development of interfaces for websites too ostentatious with an overemphasis on the nuances of what-goes-where approaches.

Having developed websites professionally since 1999, I would suggest that - these days - the vast majority of the guidance needed for website design that is already out there. It's been done. Just what you want to model what category leaders are doing and then add their own touch.

Oasis did with Beatles songs. It worked for them.

But I've come up with the 13 best things I think anyone designing or implementing a website should think. And here they are:

1. Design. Clear, simple, neat, less is definitely more
2. Position of the brand. What do you stand for? Why you? Again, and again, and again, and again.
3. Well brand. I can say that your website is when the logo is not present?
4. Home. What? For whom? Why you? Now what?
5. Social media icons built in - not an afterthought
6. Written copy. Jargon-free, concise sentences, subheadings, short and long, proper tone, setting priorities, "history", character, nice interesting ‘rhythm’, right ...
7. Quality Photography is beyond important. Size of image files consistent and crops considered
8. Accumulation Responsive
9. Data ubiquitous Contact
10. Content Management System (CMS)
11. Who is the owner (if someone has developed for you)
12. Reliable web services support (hosting, domains, emails)
13. Integration with third party software account

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