The Livin’s Easy…When It’s Easy


In almost all facets of life, we long for simplicity.  Why over-complicate an already indefinable thing like life?

If you dare to combat my above statement, I ask you to consider the following:

Fast Food Restaurants

Pop Music

Logo Branding

What do they all have in common?  Well, the most popular and, arguably, successful examples of the above are almost always…………..you guessed it…………….

SIMPLE!

Why do we long for and perpetuate the popularity of fast food chains? The food at McDonald’s might not have anything on the gourmet fare at, let’s say The Four Seasons; however, the choice is EASY:

Nuggets

Fries

Soda

Same every time.

What makes the infectious beats of the Beatles still resonate with glory in today’s youth? Well, simple melodies and guitar chords transcend time and decades.

Same GREAT sound.

What makes the Nike check symbol so memorable? It’s……………………

I think you get the hang of it by now.

Simplicity is something we long for – in happiness, love, and life.

Things are no different in the fabulous world of web design.

The Conflict of CHOICE

I like to refer to this as the “Cheesecake Factory dilemma!”  You all KNOW what I’m talking about.  In fact, I referenced this very dilemma in a previous post – that spiral bound ARCHIVE of options, running the gamut from deep-fried THIS, deep-fried THAT, and OH YEAH, the 300 selections of cake.  The dilemma I speak of purports the following:

The more choices we have, the harder it actually is to make a decision.

FACT!

This happens every day at my New York web design firm.  Clients, specifically those that are unfamiliar with design or websites at large, have trouble making decisions.  The more samples or options we throw at them, the more confused they become.  Further, the timeline of the project will double.

Design

While the concept of having options is certainly not meant to be entirely frowned upon, web designers should be particularly weary of managing choices.  I’ve noticed that the best way to go about the web design process, with a seemingly ‘lost’ client, is to provide 2-3 wireframes of designs.  After the client chooses one, the web designer immediately has a handle of where the aesthetic is going.  The web designer can simply work from the semi-approved sample and continue building color schemes and other design-related elements of the project.

The last thing you want to do is allow the client to control the project’s timeline by demanding endless design concepts.

User Navigation

Make something that works.  Every time.

This should be the main priority of the developer, in all honesty.  Whether your web developer is building an Ecommerce platform, a simple 5-page informational site, or a WordPress blog theme, the functionality should be seamless and reliable.

Find out what the client’s business is, how he/she expects the site to function, and manage the development.  While clients are, more often than not, overly concerned with design, functionality will be the death of the web design project if it fails.

The client is almost always going to wish to make changes to their website in the future.  By developing in WordPress, or any other content management system (CMS) platform, you grant yourself the luxury of not having to make menial edits in the future.