All design is defined by purpose, and the value of that design is measured by how well the design fulfills that purpose. Without purpose, a design is decoration at best.
Good web design defines goals from the outset, and each design choice works in support of those goals.
Beware of overly general goals. Useful goals have clearly defined parameters and outcomes. Instead of, ‘the goal of this website is to inform the public of our offerings,' focus in:
Our goal is to get more attendance at our events by educating the families in our communities about what we do.
Regarding the former goal, the objective has no clear benefit and it’s difficult to measure if the goal is successful. The latter example goal is specific and focused – it will be easier to implement design and functionality decisions to meet this goal, as well as find out if those measures were effective.
It can be tempting to try to include everything on a website homepage. Without a kind of ruthless resolve, a website can become cluttered and complicated, diluting the effect of any meaningful design solutions.
Consider the case of a doggy daycare. The clear, primary goal of the website is to direct new clients to inquire about openings, ultimately becoming long-term customers.The homepage features a highly visible, market-tested call to action and easy-to-use contact form. Nice!
However, over time the website has accumulated social media feeds, an image rotator with a half-dozen unrelated slides, two rows of main navigation, and an events calendar. While all of these elements may be useful to support secondary goals, they might have drawn attention away from the initial goal, reducing their ability to meet it.
Good design resolves to stick to priorities and, if need be, trim away what isn’t absolutely necessary.
Good Design Stays Relevant
Design doesn’t stop once a website goes live. A website is a living thing and both design and its objective will evolve over time. Technology changes, companies grow, products improve, audiences become more sophisticated. Investing in quality internet marketing can help good design continue to be good design by measuring how well goals are being met, researching pathways to growth, and uncovering new markets.