As an avid internet user, a “successful” website to me means that it’s easy to use and it looks nice. Since taking this course and creating my own website, I have learned that there is so much more to a website than people realize.
Well, firstly it has to get the job done. Information should be easy to find, and it should all load in a timely manner (I know wifi often affects this, but not always). The homepage should be clean and free from clutter, for example no unnecessary images to ads popping up everywhere; it should look professional no matter what type of website it is. Social media links should be easy to find, and at the bottom of the page. To go along with that, the website should be visually appealing. The layout and design should be symmetrical, it should include images where appropriate, and it should follow a consistent colour scheme. The Gutenberg Rule should be applied, which states that the best place for a company logo is in the top left corner because it’s the first thing we see as our eyes naturally scan a page (Frick & Eyler-Werve, 2015, p. 83). The overall theme of the website should be reflected in the design, both visually and linguistically. The content on the website should be relevant and free from any grammatical or factual errors. Basically, there are a lot of factors which make a website successful.
Here are some examples of websites that I find successful based on this information:
This website has a simple layout, but it’s extremely effective in being both easy to use and visually appealing. The first thing you see is the search function, which would be the main reason people visit this website. The brands main message is clearly stated at the top of the page. Airbnb also has a great app, and a pretty functional mobile site. Overall, I would deem it a successful website.
Here is probably the worst website I have ever seen:
WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON HERE? WHAT IS THIS? It follows almost none of the things I listed above. Everything if confusing and it hurts my eyes. Here is one of the pages on the website:
It doesn’t even match the terrible theme of the homepage!
When building a website, you have to be aware of all the little details. Try to follow all the rules, but also try to be original. Make your brand known. After all, you only get one first impression so better make it a good one!
Frick, T., Eyler-Werve, K. (2015). Return on engagement: Content strategy and web design techniques for digital marketing (2nd ed.). New York & London: Focal Press.