Users, goals and outcomes
I’ve been designing websites and associated online processes, of escalating complexity, since the late ‘90s. Trends have waxed and waned but the key has always been to accurately assess client goals and produce something that directs the user successfully to the right information or the desired action.
There’s a set of core challenges that I’ve addressed in producing the work shown:
- Prioritising usability: Having worked with many Third Sector clients where accessibility has a high priority, I’ve learned to focus on making sites easily navigable and easy to read, with established hierarchies of interest and information on the page – applying visual styling and page functions consistently across the site.
- Maintaining the integrity of the brand, consistent with offline. Assess the direction given in brand guidelines, and adapt colour, image styling, page composition and typography appropriately. Where brand is unclear go back to the client and make it so.
- Identifying the ‘user journey’ with the client. Agree on a clear set of desired outcomes from the user’s visit. Work through the ‘information architecture’ (what goes where) and agree on a flexible sitemap that will accommodate all the data that needs to be made available. Draw out the clearest, simplest solution from what may be a diverse set of client departments and personnel.
- Establishing and working within technical parameters agreed with in-house and client development teams. Consider how and where the user will access the site. Where special functions and behaviours are implied give clear instruction to the technical department. (I’ve found wireframing and prototyping software of great benefit in this respect.)
- Enjoying the process…