Is Your Website Clearly Understood?
Sometimes, it is easy to assume that if we understand something, others will as well. But that is not always true. Simply presenting information is not enough. We must make it understandable to our audience. Well, web design is a form of communication. We can rightly ask: Is the message conveyed by my website clearly understood?
Why It's Important
The easier your website is to understand, the more likely potential customers are to respond. You want your website to motivate the widest possible audience. To do so, it must be easily understood. Clear communication is good for business!
If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself...
How To Make Your Website Clear and Understandable
Simple style, simple words. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself.” Makes sense, doesn't it? To make things simple, we must first have a clear grasp of it ourselves. As web designers, we must understand what our client seeks to accomplish with their website. The better we understand the intent of our web design and its content, the easier it is to express it in a simple way.
Well chosen graphics should contribute to the clarity of our web design. Choose images that say more with less. The design of your website should not overwhelm the content with superfluous adornment. In content, short sentences that use plain language are the most understandable. You can't sell everything on one web page. Emphasize a few things or just one. Make the point with clarity. Keep it simple.
Smartphone compatibility is requiring that many websites go on a diet. To deliver a clear message on a tiny smartphone screen demands that we use only those elements that are clear and understandable. How does your business website fare in this regard?
Consider how this challenge has been met in other design disciplines. Josef Müller-Brockmann was a Swiss graphic designer who made posters for the masses during the 1950's. In Switzerland, his work had to communicate across language barriers, with English, French, German and Italian speaking populations. His solution was to create posters whose visual message was simple, universal and clear. Look at the examples of his posters shown below. You may not speak the language, but you get the message! The simple, graphic messages designed by Müller-Brockmann were easily understood by viewers with different languages and cultures.
Studying the work of Josef Müller-Brockmann can inspire web designers to create work that is simple and understandable. Samples of his posters are shown here. The principles employed in his work can help us to create web design that is easily understood!