I did it.
I made a Call to Disarm Technology and Hype.
Most people responded positively. One person got annoyed. It was that person who suddenly interested me. Why be angry?
I believe this is a normal response. The reader had an expectation. It wasn’t met. It is up for grabs as to why the expectation wasn’t met. I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to say: I think the internet gives us low-level reasons to feel irritated almost every day. We need and want things we may not even know we need and want, and we walk away at the end of a day online feeling inexplicably grouchy.
In the Call to Disarm Technology and Hype article, I addressed just a few ways we might help ourselves and others feel better during our online experiences. Here’s one solution I did not discuss, and it’s a big one:
Designers need to design better websites.
And? Website owners need to be sure to hire those better website designers.
When a website is well-designed, it relieves visitors from having to think too hard. That might sound questionable as a goal. It’s not. Users should be able to access the real content of your site (the stuff they will thank you for making them think about), without having to struggle to get to it.
If you already have a website, and you’re interested in working on this yourself, you could spend time reading Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. Or, if you are in the market for a new or redesigned website, you could hire an awesome website designer to do the thinking for you.
Once you hire that designer, be sure to watch for essential website usability features like:
-succinct, easy-to-understand copywriting (whether it’s on navigation buttons or section descriptions)
-pages designed for scanning, not reading
-clear navigation structure
-a simple home page
-clear purpose of the site
Krug notes that when we use a site that doesn’t make us think about unimportant things, we get a feeling of effortlessness versus an experience that “saps our energy and enthusiasm—and time.”
In other words? An awesome website will make your readers feel happier. And that is not just a contribution to internet culture— but a quality that will keep your readers coming back. 🙂