My husband’s a great guy. And because he’s a great guy, he insisted on supporting me at a recent speaking engagement at Eastern Michigan University, through a seminar-based company called Web Adventure Workshops.
I was asked to give an overview of Website Design.
While my mind was awhir with psychologically strategic content placement, target audience impact, and structural integrity across browsers, my husband was, very understandably, not-so-eagerly awaiting a 45 minute schpiel on how to make a website look “pretty.”
Happily, my podium time gave me the opportunity to dispel this popular myth for more than just my better half.
While I’m on a roll, let me clear up this point here, too…
Design is NOT the art of “making things pretty.” Design is the psychology of making messages effective, of initiating action via sensory stimulation.
In simplest terms: it’s getting people to do things… not in a creepy or mind-controlling way, but in showing them how your product or service provides a solution to their problem, whatever that may be.
More than that, design does not always have to be “pretty” to be effective. Looks play a role, but it’s not the end-all-be-all goal of a successful designer.
Here’s the thing… the purpose of a website is to elicit some sort of action from a targeted group of people, preferably within a desired time frame. That could be a call to contact the company, read its blog, follow its tweets, visit its store, leave a donation, pass on information, watch a video… the list goes on. And it can be several of those things at once.
A web designer – or any designer, really – needs to think about the psychology, the science, and the math of making that happen. The “pretty” part is icing on the cake.
Corporate culture, existing branding, structure, competitors, and mission all influence how the message is presented. That’s design.
Audience age, gender, income, interests, location, and culture all influence how a message is perceived. That’s design, too.
Colors, layout, navigation, style, imagery, and content all influence whether a message is acted upon. And that’s definitely design.
So, when you contact DMT Artistry LLC with your next design project, anticipate a fascinating, in-depth conversation that will not only help ME create effective marketing for you, but will give YOU useful insight into your own company and clientele.
And you can rest assured that we will make it look pretty, too. The artist in me is always happy to oblige.
“An object imbued with intent — it has power, it’s treasure, we’re drawn to it. An object devoid of intent — it’s random, it’s imitative, it repels us. It’s like a piece of junk mail to be thrown away.” ~ John Hockenberry
All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.