The Characteristics of Excellent Website Design: Experts Weigh In
The Characteristics of Excellent Web Design
Options for building a website are plentiful, but finding a team to deliver a creative custom solution on time and on budget is not easy. Here at Cleveland based graphic and web design firm, Go Media, we take great pride in our reliability, delivering robust websites that function flawlessly. We’re passionate about creating excellent web design and know it when we see it. As our own web developer Dave Romsey simply states, “In my opinion, excellent web design allows the content of the site to be consumed as effortlessly as possible.”
But how do we know that we’re creating it? And how do we know it when we see it? Today some of my favorite web developers are answering the question, “What are the characteristics of excellent web design to you?”
Enjoy the advice, and please share yours in the comments section below.
David Sieren, Creative Director
One Design Company
What makes for a good website? That’s such a loaded question—the answer will vary wildly depending on who the website has been designed for. Add to that the countless facets inherent to the concept of “good” and we’re headed down one heck of a rabbit hole. But I suppose that leads us to the best all-encompassing answer we can give you.
In our opinion, a great website—or any interactive experience for that matter—thoughtfully takes into account the goals and needs of the final user from both a functional and emotional standpoint.
At One Design we underline the last part of that statement, emphasizing the importance of emotion in every interactive experience. Our users are humans, and humans have an innate need to connect. The strongest interactive experiences understand and embrace this. Technology that winks back at us—often at the most unexpected moments—defines the difference between tools we own and products we covet. It’s the wink that leads to conversations about our work over coffee, links being passed at the dinner table, and fierce loyalty at the end of the day. A wink is the difference between a good interactive experience and a great one.
Rob Davarnia, Senior Full Stack Developer
Websites have been changing so rapidly. They get reinvented every year. However, the core traits of a perfect website rarely change. In addition to a great design, the following will set apart a website:
- Smooth and well-thought out User Experience
- Minimalism. Less is more.
- Testing funcitonality before launch
- Solid page load time and consistent uptime
- Clean code
Nick Haas, Creative Director
Orbit Media Studios
Great question. For us, excellent web design should put the user first. Most importantly, we design to convert visitors. The site should clearly establish “who they are” and “what the user can do”. Using white space, color, and other visual elements, we can direct attention to calls to action or other focal points. Of course, good design only gets us so far. Images and copy, optimized for the web, is going to draw the user further down the funnel. It needs to all work together. And, obviously, it is a must to support multiple screen sizes so the design holds up on any device.
Wilson Revehl, Web Developer
The glaringly obvious on today’s web would have to be responsive design & development. Taking a mobile first or desktop first approach to the design isn’t as important as simply taking the time to implement both. I won’t get into the nuances of more breakpoints, although taking advantage and considering more will get you closer to a mark of excellence. To at least be a good design, you should have a design for primary and secondary menu systems, the content above the fold, below the fold and the footer of the homepage, all for mobile and desktop. If you want to achieve excellence, you’ll take time to consider responsive breakpoint design for key interior pages and for general defaults as well. We realize this is a lot of work. Fortunately, there are excellent responsive frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap and Zurb’s Foundation which provide a ton of the heavy lifting on the development front. They also offer tremendous resources to help guide you along the way.
Andrew Ruditser, Lead Technology Coordinator
In my opinion, the characteristics of excellent web design consists of four things:
- Tuning into new trends
- Understanding our clients identity image
- Making every project personal
- Always delivering in style
We follow these four principles across all of our design projects in order to produce the most effective and compelling websites like our newest client launch, Lark Tattoo.
Traci Guthrie, Director of Marketing
Blue Laser Design
Excellent web design begins with the capability to captivate the audience. The design should feel effortless and work hand-in-hand with the brand to serve a purpose. When websites interact with an audience meaningfully, the design encourages users to take action and leaves a lasting impression.
Bryan Garvin, Front End Developer
An excellent website design starts before you dive into Photoshop. It’s all about making sure you’re understand the content, the goals of the site, and the way a user should be interacting with the site. Start with sketches or wireframes. Sit down with the client to talk about how the site should work, not just about how it should look.
An excellent website design:
- Provides the best presentation for the content that we have, not the content we wish we had.
- Makes it clear what route a user should take to access the content that they’re looking for.
- Remembers that not every user comes in through the home page.
- Can be easily understood and accessed without the need of a 1900px-wide monitor.
Carla Rosemarino, Digital Marketing Manager
Web design, like social media, needs to be a conversation between you and your audience. A successful website supports a brand’s unique business goals and prioritizes user-experience and accessibility. Design is different from art. It’s about creating a solution.
Harshal Shah, Web Designer
One of the most important things that makes top notch web design is clean and easy user interface. There have been so many times when a user, including myself, gets confused on how the site works or where the call out buttons are. One way to solve that issue is bright colored buttons and hierarchy font size and colors. Using the right technology and updated current design style is also important. Mainly using fonts that reflect the site. For example, if the site is about selling military clothing, like Battlefield Collection, we analyzed who the target audience is and then decided upon using large bold fonts, as their majority of the user will be age of 40 plus.
Using icons and heavy visual such as images and banner help creates a visual flavor. It also entices the customer to be engaged. Great use of visuals from our line of work is Laura Jayne. It highlights the product and is used with elegance. Overall clean and easy to use with a little BAM of visuals and eye candy will get you a top notch web design.
Responsive website is the new mantra; it is important that the usage of elements like Bootstrap and fonts are done effectively. As websites are used across multiple channels today, ensure sure that the fonts comply to the Google fonts and the framework aligns with HTML5
In effect, the design starts with the homepage but it is essential that you maintain the language and feel across all the pages.”
What characteristics do you believe make near-perfect web design? Share with us in the comments below!