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Functional design guidelines

You can create a master piece of design, but if it doesn’t function properly it’s really just a piece of art. To create a good website it has to be both ascetically beautiful but completely functional.
I have a fool proof way of testing a design. I have a friend who is totally computer illiterate, and I usually sit him down and say can you find out where to go. If he can’t, I usually need to tweak it until he can. I can tell you it works like a charm. When he find his way around easily the first time I am home and dry.

Of course there are some basic fundamental rules one needs to apply but the end product has to be able to perform all tasks with ease but also be almost I would say a KISS method. Keep it simple stupid. When we get too clever things can go very wrong.

At the same time, as keeping it simple we need to make it pleasing to the eye so that people want to stay and enhance their experience on the website.

The very first thing you need to consider is the ultimate goal of the website. Usually it is to invite the visitor to view an object with the intention of selling it to them.

This has to be done in a very subtle manner because we don’t want to be pushy and chase them scream down the garden path to the opposition’s website. Look at the item you are selling and then consider how best to present it. Here we need to look at who is possibly going to be using it. If it is a youngster things can be a little out there than if you are selling to a more discerning person. I am not saying youngsters are not discerning merely that the rough and tumble of life is still in their orbit. Later on things become a bit more refined is probably the word. If you are selling to a female or a male is also something to take into consideration.

Make sure that all the angles are covered in Photographs. This is the only sense that can be used on the net, the eyes. You need to make maximum use of good quality photos.

Think of how the product is going to be used and explain in full the easiness of use and what can be done with the product. When you are doing the purchase section make sure you continue to use a visual in the checkout. This will keep them wanting the product. They have now chosen it, they continue to see it, and so it leads them to complete the hopefully very simple purchase page.

It is important to keep the process extremely simple. One thing a designer tends to forget is that there are probably 90% of the population out there that are not as glued up on the net as you are. Always say thank you. This leaves a good experience in their memory.


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