Our biggest secret for designing an effective website

Our Biggest Web Design Secret
Rob Tinsman - Vice President and Creative DirectorWritten by: Rob TinsmanVice President and Creative Director

You don’t have to be totally unique. In fact, standing apart for the sake of being different can really hurt your site’s effectiveness if that’s all you’re focused on.

It’s true that you need to stand out and look different from the rest. The problem is that some web designers take it a little too far, and they design a site that’s so unique it breaks all the rules — and not in a good way. Your potentially award-winning website ends up being a confusing experience for visitors.

As designers, we must create sites that follow best practices and usability rules because these are the ultimate guides to navigating your site quickly and easily. If you break them, you’ll confuse your visitors.

The best advice when designing a successful website is to clearly communicate what you do or sell and let people know what you want them to do next. Make the site attractive, but don’t allow the looks to trump the function. A well designed site really doesn’t even need to be pretty to be effective. Craigslist comes to mind. Google even. The function is key. Nothing gets in the way of that.  

Fail at that part and it doesn’t matter if the designer got the biggest award in the industry — you’re left with a phone that isn’t ringing and a hefty website bill.