Highly Functional Websites

old website example

Unless your website has an extremely utilitarian purpose – like a government information website, for example – it first needs to look as if it was designed and built recently. You definitely don’t want it to look like the one shown at the left. (Click to view it larger. Note that we’ve blacked-out enough to protect the guilty.) 

The first impression is important.

The next important thing about your site is that it needs to be functional. There are many things that affect the functionality of a website, but the primary one needs to answer this question: Can the user quickly and easily find the information that they’re looking for or do what they want to do?

What are the primary purposes of your website?

If you run a restaurant, then they are to inform your visitor of what types of food you serve, when you’re open for business, and where you’re located. On the other hand, if you have an online business, then folks are going to want to easily search for and find something to buy that they think you offer. And once they’ve found what they’re looking for, you’ve got to make it as easy and painless for them as possible to pay for their order and provide you with shipping information.

All of us have been to a website where we reach a point in our browsing that we’re stumped; we’ve wanted to move forward in the process and we couldn’t find out how to go there! Chances are, whoever designed and built the website didn’t properly anticipate what you wanted to do. Perhaps they did know what you wanted to do but didn’t offer you the direction or instructions that were required at that point in the process.

I’ve spent over three decades of my business life designing and implementing computer-based user interfaces. While these were initially applied to mobile workers using hand-held computer devices to aid them in their workflow the underlying KISS principles remain the same. All of these learned techniques and approaches are applied to the websites I design and build.