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Creating websites that are born from user expectations

January 22, 2018 by

During 2010 I was an invited speaker at the Rydges World Square on the topic of website usability.

I gave a presentation on how to create websites that are born from user expectations. Here are some of the points I shared:

  • conduct user research early and often
  • focus design on content; instead of writing content to suit a design
  • have a communications strategy
  • take any opportunity to motivate a user, or to offer incentives to reach business goals

It’s easy to get attention but it takes research, effort, and patience to achieve results.

Don’t try to focus on every goal or campaign at once

All of these examples are diverse in what they do. But they use a communications strategy and decide what goals to focus on through a design and when.

The Wilderness Society (client from 2005) 

  • On page load, a modal is displayed that can instantly establish empathy from the audience. A call to action is also provided.
  • Navigation is plain but simple.
  • Content is highly visual and this works well as the surrounding design is plain.
  • Colour is only used to emphasize their primary goals: donations and social media. Photos are used to communicate their values and key goals

Microsoft – focusing on the Surface and Xbox 

Again, plain background and navigation to allow the content to stand out.

IBM – focusing on artificial intelligence.

Another plain but successful design.


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