We Need the Human Touch In Web Design...
Often, when viewing the lifestyle images typically used in website design, you can easily get the impression that everyone is eternally young, lives in trendy urban centers, and are obsessed with fad and celebrity. Well, that is largely because most web design studios are generally located in fast-paced urban centers. And, most web designers tend to come from a slender demographic within those urban centers. As a result, most current web design tends not to look like the real world.
Another trend that often skews the look of most web design is the desire of web designers to be admired by other web designers. So they will tend to copy whatever web design trends or fads are hot at the moment (the web design 2.0 look, the flat look, etc.). As a result, much of their work looks the same.
Some have suggested that breaking away from convention and creating more abstract and 'clever' web design is the way forward. However, that is simply the talk of designers becoming bored with their own work. That will only make websites more difficult to use. The problem is not 'thinking outside the box,' but the need for better communication with the real world.
Effective Web Design Has To Appeal To The Average Joe
When web design fails to reflect the needs and aspirations of real world consumers, it also fails your business. Effective web design appeals to the majority of consumers in the market for your products or services. The truth is that the consumers that can best afford your good and services, the ones who buy new cars and go on vacations (and purchase expensive iPhones), are not in their twenties.
Let's Talk About Baby Boomers!
Baby Boomers (age: late 40's to early 60's) represent 44% of the US population. In the next 5 years, they’re projected to hold 70% of US disposable income and buy 49% of total consumer-packaged goods (CPG), according to an August 2012 report by Nielsen.
As website designers, we need to know the market we are designing for and appeal to that market in our visual presentations. Yes, that means designing for the average Joe (and Susie). If we put their interests first, our web design will be a better marketing tool for the clients we serve. So as you drive your BMW 3 Series to work downtown, think about the guy who drives a Ford F-150. He may be the real customer for your client's products!
You may also enjoy reading Why Good Taste Matters In Web Design
The author, Don Peterson is a New York based freelance web designer offering value-packed web design for small businesses on tight budgets.