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What Makes a Great Site?

June 22nd, 2018 by Ima Admin

In 2016 mobile internet use had surpassed desktop use. Sometime in 2019, people that forecast this stuff expect that time spent on mobile will exceed time spent on TV (which is today just under 4hrs/day).

With that in mind, several designers/marketers were asked to comment on a question in Alignable, “What makes a great website for today’s time (ie what are the top 5 things for a great design)?”

It’s a good question, and there were a number of varied answers, with many suggesting mobile-responsiveness and fast loading as two of the five criteria. The most liked answer was ‘animated dancing penguins’.

However, the question is too ambiguous to answer. Here’s why…

“TODAY’S TIMES” is both culture and technology restrictive. What was ‘great’ 20+ years ago (yes, we launched our our history Nov. 1995), even 10 years ago, pre-smartfone, is different than today and what will be considered ‘great’ in a few years hence. Users are more sophisticated, bandwidth is more available, and browsers more capable – all trends that are likely to continue.

Which begs the question, ‘GREAT…’ for whom? The site owner or the potential user? The yardsticks used by both groups can often be quite different.

If the owner, are they…

  • An Educational/Financial institution wanting to share information;
  • An Entrepreneurial Online Start-up;
  • A Small/Medium Business looking to increase foot traffic or expand online etail;
  • A For profit corporation attempting to monetize operations and/or expand support aspects;
  • A Non-Profit seeking support and/or donations;
  • Introducing / Expanding services and/or markets; and/or
  • Working on Brand Identification / Awareness or Repair.

If the user, then are we talking…

  • Grandma/pa at the elder care center;
  • Health-conscious urban athletes;
  • Members of the local dog scout troop (yes there is such a thing);
  • Sight-impaired and/or colour-blind users;
  • Big screen desktop users w/ massive amounts of bandwidth;
  • Mobile users on WiFi or tomorrow’s VR users;
  • Humans or search bots; and/or
  • Domestic or international language speaking audienc>e.

How we get there – eye-candy (animated penguins), mobile-responsiveness, fast-loading, ease of navigation, bot searchability (SEO), & superb content all contribute but are ultimately relative to “Does it satisfy both my audiences’ and my goals?”

We help our clients clearly define the goals which will define the yardstick used to measure its greatness – which will be different for each person answering and the point from which they are looking.

Sounds nifty. Show me more!

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