Design. It defines how we engage with information. It gives us a sense of belonging, a sense that we’re in the right place. Depending upon how an app or a website is designed influences the experience we have with the information. Can we find what we’re looking for? Can we find our answers? Design is how something is presented, as well as how we engage.
Design has become more than just the pretty of things; design has become the ease in which we interact with information. It’s about the way information is organized and how easily we find it, so we can learn and take action. Design is how information is delivered and its effectiveness in keeping our attention.
How design equals success
As technology expanded, so did the understanding that design was integral to success. If someone can’t find the information they are seeking it may as well not exist. Design plays a role in how we engage with information, how we feel about the information, and the company or person delivering the information.
in 2009, when Blue Zenith Design + Strategy was brand new, website design was still morphing into what it is today. There were many technology options to build a website, but most required a technologist or software engineer to create it and keep it updated. Design wasn’t the top goal of a website – it was quite acceptable to simply extend a list of services provided by the company – like a yellow page ad. In many aspects, that’s exactly what it was for many people – an extension of a yellow page ad. So many of the websites developed during that time were just lists of services. Turned out it was exactly what people thought they always wanted.
But, that trend did not last for long. Social media changed how we interacted online, and also modified how we connected and built relationships. That shifted how we interacted and engaged with information. If information was presented cold without emotion, we were less likely to remain engaged. We expected an experience, a path to engage and interact with information, It wasn’t enough to deliver the information; it needed to be presented in a way that is appealing.
Organized by device
As website trends shifted into what they are today, it was mostly influenced by the movement towards mobile devices and various ways we chose to engage with the internet. As mobile became the standard, it influenced everything about design. From our perspective of “above the fold” … do you remember that expression? It means the information on the web page that shows up first – above the fold – before needing to scroll to the rest of the page information. That still means something, but it means something different by the device being viewed. It becomes so much more important to optimize information for the experience, on a phone, on a desktop, on a tablet. And providing the most important information immediately, easily found, to promote engagement. Now, information must be organized by device, by priority and how it’s being utilized.
People search in the moment of when they are looking for information. Those moments need to be capitalized on, organizing information in a way that is easily found, easily navigated to, organized in a simple way that makes sense to your visitors.
Scrolling to find information became a normal way to interact, and redefined the above the fold mentality to ordering information in a meaningful way. To me, it’s about telling the story of a company, in a way that makes sense to the reader, the online visitor. Allowing the visitor ways to engage and learn deeper if they want about any presented topic. To me, it’s a “choose a chapter” way to engage with the business and that’s been our fundamental perspective of what we offer through a website: standardized delivery in ways that engage your online visitors so that both the Search Engines and human visitors can find and engage as needed.
I continue to see mobile devices influencing web design, its data delivery and how we use the internet. It will continue to engage and how we learn more about what we need, and finding options and solutions.