Monday, March 16, 2009

"Crippling" Design

In my previous post, I mentioned the importance of thoughtful copy and the amazing results than can happen when designers and copywriters work together to create their product. Another thought on design--also taken from A List Apart--is the crucial task of testing web designs, and the devastating effects that can occur in not doing so.

Nick Usborne provides a list of elements to test before publishing your site:
"Here are just a few of the design elements we have found can make a significant difference to the performance of a web page:
  • The position and color of the primary call to action
  • Position on the page of testimonials, if used
  • Whether linked elements are in text or as images
  • The amount of “white space” on a page, giving the content space to “breathe”
  • The position and prominence of the main heading
  • The number of columns used on the page
  • The number of visual elements competing for attention
  • The age, sex and appearance of someone in a photo"
Utilizing this list would certainly make a difference in ensuring you're developing site that speaks directly to your audience in the way your company intends. Research shows that within 1/20th of a second, web users make a judgement about a company according to the website image. The time it takes to test the design elements would certainly be worth the 1/20th of a second snap-judgement of a prospective customer in order to draw them in.

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