Everyday, we all surf into hundreds of different websites from various sources, often becoming inundated by the number of sites we stumble into. And usually within a short period of time we will forget most of them, as they are either boring, lack content, or are just plain ‘coyote ugly. So we click off as fast as our Internet connection will allow us to do so.

The reason for this is quite simple, the THREE very basic, yet distinctive qualities that will ensure people will not only REMEMBER your website, they will save it as a favorite because they had found it to be extremely USEFUL, was easy to maneuver and their breath was taken away as soon as their browser loaded, only to have them say out loud, ‘WOW!’

Content

Web designers have to rely on many different resources to put together a site that wows and impresses visitors. Whether it’s something that shows creative inspiration or they find the content practical and useful. In order to keep people’s interest, web designers need a veritable arsenal of tools at their side to do not just a good job for clients, but a ‘great’ job. If you’ve ever worked on a web-design project, you can certainly appreciate and recognize what we’re saying here.

Designing a good website that accommodates a lot of content is a tricky at best, and the balancing act to pull off successfully is not at all easy. Balance is a key design consideration the presenter must understand in order to provide the user with all information this is clean, concise, well-organized manner, and clear, without forgetting to put forth an effort to engage the user as you tug them down a trail of enlightenment. Get it wrong and you risk the possibility of overwhelming your visitors, who will leave without having even finished reading past the opening page—if they even complete reading it at all! Get it right however, and you will have gained a new audience member who not only understands your message, but also might just bring a few friends along with them when they share your site with others and return to yours for more information.

The Design

Websites with extremely creative designs have two possibilities for success; LAYOUT – Are items are strategically located on the page? Why they are placed where they are?  And, Does it have just the right amount of information to encourage the reader to continue; and USABILITY – Will the user find the information useful? Valid? And, Well presented?

Usability, not the visual design, will determine the success or failure of a web-site. It’s that first page that will determine if the visitor  will click-off or continue exploring; they decide and quickly at that.  A usercentric design is one of the most critical things to consider when it comes to creating a successful web site. Considering just what to place, where to place it on the page, and how much to information is too much, will determine the success of your web design. After all, if users can’t use a feature, it may as well not even exist, simply because they find the page of no value…and off they go.

We are not going to discuss on this page how to implement ‘design’ at this point, because of the reasons stated above. However, herein you will find a number of articles that are designed to help understand how we can design a website that will focus on the principles, heuristics and approaches of an effective web design presence. Our years of experience as web designers allows us to assess what IS important to you, the client, when it comes incorporating more sophisticated design decisions that will simplify the process of discovering and understanding what and how information is presented.

The “WOW” Factor

The measure of success – the difference between a killer website design and a standard, ho-hum website design, is what we call the ‘WOW Factor. It’s when someone comes into your website and they don’t just say, “gee, that really looks nice,’ they say, “Wow, that is awesome!”

Sometimes, when reviewing client websites, or just when we browse sites, we tend to look through as many pages as possible. Sometimes we’ll see something that will make us go “Wow,” but more often than not, many are lacking. Some however only need a little tweaking, perhaps with simple transitions, background changes, color switching, or even some unique animations that will help visitors remember the website, to create that  ‘wow’ factor.

Rule of thumb to remember here is, ‘Content is NOT King’ when it comes to information being understood and retained; VISUALS on the other hand are! The colloquial ‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’ is true, because the human brain can process visual elements 60,000 times faster than text and nearly 90 percent all visual information transmitted to our brain is retained!  Makes one wonder why then so many websites concentrate on pages and pages of text, when it only causes visitors to miss their message in the first place. A big reason we rely on the concept of visual storytelling by incorporated stunning high-definition (HD) graphics, photography, and text strategically to provide a website with visual interest that encourages them to explore on.

We fully understand that the layout is the foundation of any great website. When done correctly they can guide the user from section to sections, tell them what’s important, and proved just right mix of content and HD-visuals to enhance intrinsic aesthetics to a website’s content.

An original and creative layout can be greatly enhanced to improve a visitor’s experience, without letting creativity get in the way of USABILITY; which is important. So what is it you want visitors to your website see first? Is your message being communicated, or do they leave without getting past your first page? We can help answer these and other questions before you start the design process, and therefore determine the direction for the rest of your design concept; so people will go ‘WOW!’ when they visit your site.