3 Key Elements of Great Design
Make your website stand out through superior user experience and user interface design.
There is a lot of competition out there in the online world. Websites are a key component to attracting and retaining new clientele. UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) design is critical to your website. This post will discuss the importance of each and how they melt together to provide a fluid journey for the user.
Let’s begin with a quote from the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright:
“Form follows function- that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.”
The same applies for UX and UI design. A symbiotic relationship exists between the two that creates an effective and visually appealing website. Think of UX in terms of function and UI as form.
The Design Relationship
UX seeks to create an appealing experience from the beginning, when a site is entered in Google search, to the end with (hopefully) a final sale of a good or service. Think of it this way; UX is like the sheetrock, structure and other raw materials for a building. Sure, these materials alone would create a house pretty easily. But it takes a true architect who understands the intent of the space and incorporates a design that anticipates the user’s day to day functionality.
On the other hand, UI is like the work of an interior designer. Their role is to elevate an otherwise sterile structure and create an organic and comfortable flow throughout the home. The individual style may be rich in textures and patterns or minimalist with clean lines and negative space. Either way, the design weaves intricately with the architecture of the house.
A hierarchy does not usually exist in this harmonious design relationship. One is just as important as the other and both need to be involved in the design process from the beginning. The result is a balanced design that beckons you to the door for a quick hello and, before you know it, you’re lingering by the fire pit until the twilight hours of the morning.
Speaking of good (web) design…Let’s move on to discuss-
The three key elements that embody great (website) design.
- Function/Purpose is the foundation for great design. It asks the important question of how the user is going to use the site. Then it asks what the user needs and what the website provides. A website that does not clearly understand its function is set up to fail. You can have beautiful drapes for your windows, but it won’t do you any good if the sheetrock is old and crumbles when you try to hang them.
- Layout/Placement asks, “where does it go?” A common mistake is placing too much information, like a content rich company philosophy or in-depth product description, on the home page. Rather, the site needs to interpret what the customer wants/needs to see right away, instead of what the company wants to put on the site. A well-designed layout contributes positively to the experience and gently guides the user deeper into the site toward a final sale. Bounce rate plays an intricate role in the layout process and you can read more about that here.
- Design/Style has become increasingly more important due to the rapidly growing mobile user trend. Clean style utilizing minimal content and rich visuals are a key element in great design. In addition to this, contrast and highlights are added to specific content to pull the user’s eyes to key items on a targeted page. This makes it easier to skim content and draws the attention of the user to key functionality items.
Great design is a balance of form and function. When applied properly, your business’s site will see an increase in traffic flow, sales and client retention.
So, tell us what you think. What else do you look for in great design?