… is not the best strategy.
When entering a site/page for the first time, very few visitors will appreciate being presented with a series of guessing games in order to make sense of it. By all means be smart about the entire design process, but make sure to provide visitors with enough familiar cues and pointers to make them feel welcome and to find their way around.
Personally I am kind of fond of smart solutions in web designs, but not the kind that get in the way of visitors' ability to explore
and enjoy a site. I rather look for ways to smarten up the code without losing anything important, than add effects for the
sake of adding them.
Nothing has to be what it looks like in the world of artificial make-believe, so everything we do may as well be real from the bottom up.
visual design and structure…
To many the visual design is all the “design” there is in web design, and for all I know they may be right. Not much
else to see, is there?
Well, our designs can be “viewed” with and without
CSS and with and without
other graphics can also be left out. For any and all web designers, developers, and not least site owners, it makes sense to make sure all
relevant content gets delivered and that they otherwise perform reasonable well without styling and advanced
functionality, and without graphics in any form – especially if we are promoting or selling something.
Why some users choose to, or simply have to, filter any of our well-formed design details out, is really none of our business. We only have to make sure everyone can make the most out of the sites we are responsible for.
Only the very simplest sites/pages have much to offer in today's societies without at least some minimal styling
and graphics. Thus, we may as well test out how much content visitors are left with if/when parts or most of our “designs”
are filtered out at their end for whatever reason, before someone bothers to tell us about our failures.
The majority of visitors will not bother to inform us about what does not work for them. They will just leave, and most likely never return … too many alternatives.
Visual attention-drawers most definitely have their place in web design, even if their roles may be overrated in a world where
just about everything calls for our attention. However, if such features upset order or meaning in the code-flow and thereby in the
content, they should, in my opinion, be corrected or be left out.
As visitor I do of course not have much of a say on such matters, and if the designers behind flawed and/or overused features do not care, I may as well just cut my own irritation short by leaving their sites.
Such realizations from being on both sides of web design – as producer and user – for decades, have and continue to shape my very personal thoughts and rules related to “the art of web design”. Actual progress is as slow and behind across the internet as everywhere else, and there are of course no perfect solutions that will cover all situations designers and visitors can agree somewhat on anyway. Not to forget what those who write and interpret standards, rules and regulations in the various areas may come up with…
That web designers can form and manipulate just about any shape for display on flat screens, is fine but a bit
old in the year 2022. The same goes for the “undesigned” look, that always works fine for sales- and info-pages on screens of
any size – less clutter on the smallest screens.
Whatever new design-trends that are released by anyone, we have been there before, and will be there again some time in the not too distant future. Recirculating visual trends is more the norm than the exception on the internet too…
Those who are under the illusion that they already know how to solve all problems that can occur between their designs and the visitors' understanding and appreciation of same, may as well stay there. Evolution on and off the internet will over time bring them back to reality.
All others are adviced to search for and pick up all the information they can find on how to create the simplest, most robust
and functional content-delivery systems they can manage, without crowding their work with doubled-up irrelevant
stuff to cope with non-existing problems or parts of standards and rules that do not apply.
Always remember: visitors are not morons that need to be spoon-fed instructions. They just want to get on with their business without being hampered along the route.
last rev: 25.feb.2022