Designing a Website
Let’s put it this way – a website is similar to a watch. It displays a specific piece of information to us – the time. In the olden days, a popular timekeeping method was as a stick bolted into the ground and read as the shadow cast by the stick to tell the time. So, how did we get from reading the shadow of a stick to the hand of a clock to tell us the time? A designer thought of an innovative way to transfer the information onto the face of a watch, strapped to an arm. The designer was also an inventor, who had a vision – the innovator came up with the invention, which was designed by a creative person! (Invention = innovate = design = creative).
Unique design is important
We often forget how important design is. It lives in every single thing we use on a day-to-day basis. The objects around us have been “designed” in this way so as to benefit us, work most effectively or efficiently or perhaps be good for the environment. Think about the examples of design around you – from tyres that will run well on a wet winter night, to the computers we are using and even this word processing program that I am typing in. All have had their influences by designers.
Just like the stick in the ground or the watch that sits on your wrist, a website too needs to display a set of clear and unmistakable information. We have copywriters to write content that best describes your service, but then importantly, a designer to put together the content and display the information in a clear way and with a unique characteristic, so no other website is identical. If you had the chance to design your own watch, you wouldn’t design it to be the same as everyone else’s, would you?
Modern era of design
In this modern era, a watch that is only able to tell the time will not cut it. We want a watch that will show us the date, international time and various other bits and pieces. So, how are we going to put all these elements of information onto the watch without being obstructive?
It’s all about designing for the information.
With today’s user demanding more information, website owners want to provide information as per demand; this is only natural. But it’s important to always consider design when adding complexity to your information. For example, The Age, Australia’s top news website – without a proper design to lay out all the news and information, the site will inevitably become an abyss of indistinguishable information.
Every part of the process of building a website is as important as the next. Often, design is treated with the least importance because of the generalisation that design is just to create pretty graphics. Sure, designers can work with graphics to build something visually appealing, but equally important is employing a designer to organise and present your information in a clear and innovative way.