K.I.S.S…Keep It Simple (Stupid!)
How does your website come across? Do users linger over the pages? Or do you move as quick as a goldfish forgets?
Microsoft scientists have shared that the average human attention span now stands at 8 seconds. Shorter than a goldfish!
Our behaviour online is similar. Average readers have an attention span of 15 seconds. Which means I have probably lost most of you. Not an average reader will, hopefully give me more time.
Are we missing some of the action?
The design and navigation of a website or web-based resource is therefore vital for keeping people online.
We must… Keep It Simple (Stupid!)
Visual hierarchy is one of the most important principles behind web design. When getting messages across designers have to break down the raw information into bite size pieces to communicate ideas. Otherwise the viewers will lose attention and move onto a better designed webpage. It is not a simple process there are many elements to think about:
But beware because
Good visual hierarchy isn’t about wild and crazy graphics or the newest photoshop filters, it’s about organising information in a way that’s usable, accessible, and logical to the everyday site visitor.
Good design obviously plays a vital part. However we don’t just see the world, that is put before us, we actively interpret what we see depending upon what we are expecting to see.
Anais Nin, the French author, probably explains it better when she said “ We do not see the world as it is; we see it as we are” .
Take this picture for example. What is the first thing you see? Then what?
When it comes to websites, the navigation system acts like a road map to all the different areas and information contained within the website. You cannot reach your destination without first knowing where you are. Like in real life, navigation in web design is very important and plays a major role in a website’s usability and whether a guest will stay longer than 15seconds. A few rules: –
- Keep it simple
- Keep it consistent
What is happening in the classroom?
Kath Murdoch came to ISL a couple of weeks ago. A truly inspiring day talking and discussing inquiry in the Lower School. There were so many take aways but one activity connects with these ideas of design. Colour Symbol Image (CSI) is a thinking routine ( CSI template) , from Cultures of Thinking out of Harvard/Project Zero. I haven’t used this routine yet in the classroom but I will be sure to use it in the coming weeks.
But I thought I would try it for the design of a web site.
Colours have meaning. Colours give attitudes and emotions. Research from QuickSprout indicates that 90% of all product assessments have to do with colour. Therefore choosing a colour palette is really important for brands and websites. Interestingly colour meanings can change in different places in the world. However a rough guide to colour is:
- Blue- calm, security
- Red – energy, anger
- Green – fresh,healthy
- Yellow -warmth, positivity
- Orange- excitement
- White- Clean
- Black – expensive
Whats in a symbol or a logo? Well actually quite a lot. Children as young as 3 can recognise and make connections with a companies symbol/logo. Simple logos are best. Perhaps the most well known symbol in the world is the Nike Swoosh, amazingly created for just $35, is one of the simplest. Simple is key.
When I look at my iPhone I don’t need to see the words. The icons tell a story. A symbol is the easiest way to share your values and beliefs in a short concise way.
When writing choosing fonts is another way of sharing a websites values. What does a blog that uses Times New Roman say? Or what does a blog that uses comic sans say?
Humans are informavores. We look at a website and quickly make a choice whether we want to stick around. Images and visuals are vital elements of this process. The images chosen have to be quality. Poor quality or fuzzy images are immediate turn-offs. Powerful images linked to experience can bring about emotions and memories. Images can tell a story on their own and unique images can really give a personal touch.
So what am I going to do about my blog?
I am going to K.I.S.S.
Below is a screenshot of the blog before writing this blog post. What’s changed?
Does the fire in the background send the right image?
What does the Lurker t-shirt say at the top of the page?
Here is the new and improved version of my blog to the right. It is not perfect and I think I will continue to play around with WordPress (which is not that easy to navigate) to make the blog more streamlined. But its a start…
Any suggestions would be greatly received.