helium's Thoughts On Web Design
We don’t have to tell you that a company’s web presence is paramount. It’s often the first time someone “meets” a brand. The initial impression should be simple, yet memorable. Kind of like a firm handshake and steady eye contact during an in-person introduction. We consider ourselves web design aficionados and thought we would start a conversation on what makes a great web experience.
When designing for web, small details make a bigger and better impact. This truly reflects how I engage with a site and will continue to explore. I enjoy searching and dissecting a website in hopes of discovering these subtle, yet significant details that developers add – whether it be as simple as how the navigation is approached to how the designer integrated the brand throughout. I particularly enjoy seeing an intentional use of design elements instead of adding all of the newest plugins and trends that are in the industry right now because it ‘looks’ cool.
A successful website is one that engages the user through an overall experience while meeting the goals and objectives set out. Naturally we think we want the most amazing [award-winning] website design. However, first and foremost, as with any marketing initiative the branded experience must be developed to align with the overall strategy. For example, is the website for informational purposes or converting sales of a product or service? Once our core objectives are set, we can then set out to do what we love and design the proper experience.
I am a purist. I lean toward large visual storytelling, clean lines and super simple user navigation. Ease of user experience is the most important thing in web design, so there has to be a marriage between function and design. My favorite elements are the basics – scroll bar, arrows, browse icons, buttons. It is always interesting to see how a designer will approach these pieces because they can either be traditional, trendy or innovative. The classic scroll bar with a top and bottom arrow with a line that attaches the two points, versus an intuitive scrolling navigation that guides the user along without the use of a symbol for example. These little moments on a site is what makes the biggest difference. Not so much the bells and whistles that can often times muddle the user experience or quickly date a website. Parallax scrolling circa 2013.
What do you think makes great web design? We’d love to hear from you on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. @heliumcreative