What to look for in good website design

I’ve been involved in electronic communications before the Internet came to be! That means, if there is an animal you know of before the dinosaur, that, my friends, would be me! But, thankfully, I’m not going to go into that story at the moment, suffice it to say that when I started in electronic communication, I chose to start a Bulletin Board System in 1986 which I called “Stray Cats BBS” and it was one of the first in the region. A lot of people still remember “the Stray Cats days” of 300/300 bps and the ultra-fast Amstrad 1200/75 baud modems!

I’ve seen quite a number of websites and portals since then. I’ve lived through many a fad and have been angered in no small part by the huge budgets creatively wasted on many websites. In all of my time; however, I have maintained that a corporate site, especially – as the main intention of such an entity is to produce or help produce money – must be kept simple, elegant and with easy navigation. Yet, I can’t count the times I’ve seen the convoluted spec-sheets or tenders which were either created by a maniac, or even worse, a “good salesman”.

Well, let me share with you something I’ve just come across recently which I believe is worth noting. The following specs – I think – should be etched in stone for website design. If I were you, I would use the following specifications as gospel:

  • Two design options for a visually engaging home page that can be viewed by most browsers
  • A facelift for content pages that marries to the look of the home page
  • Effective marketing through increased use of photographs and videos on the web site
  • An identity that will distinguish us from other organizations with similar missions
  • Reorganization of content pages to create an easily navigable web site
  • A means by which members can complete and submit certain forms online
  • An online payment system for fees, contributions, etc.
  • A content management system that can be easily updated and maintained by the company’s leadership
  • A means to collect detailed data about frequency of hits, geographic concentration of visitors, etc

from Craig’s List Lousville

So do yourself a favour and be creative in your thinking. Don’t be intimidated by that salesman who stresses that you must spend tens of thousands of dinars to “get your brand out” or any “creative marketing” like that.

Think, instead, of simple and elegant communication which encompasses the currently available media, with an eye on a less painful upgrade path into the future, and you would arrive at an excellent website design which will do your company, image, and – dare I say it – brand, much good.

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