In the afternoon, we had a look at what good website design meant and the whole design and build process of a site. It was interesting going through all the old archived sites of BBC, John Lewis, and TFL, and seeing how they developed through the years. The BBC and TFL site started off relatively simple, and then gradually more features were added due to consumer needs and extra choices that were being offered, but it was interesting to note that both websites have now adopted a more app-like appearance.
We learnt that accessibility is a huge part of website design, being able to convey and display content, not just in a visual way but a structural way, so that screen readers, bots and people in all circumstances can access the information and digest it in a way that they choose.
The second part of our brief was to find 3 websites that we thought were well-designed, and here they are:
…a platform for home renovation and design, bringing homeowners
and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community.
With a stunning and clean interface, and great quality images, the website immediately gives off good vibes. However, it’s not just that the visuals that create a warm fuzzy feeling, it’s also very intuitive to use. Houzz gives you the option to browse the content however you want: you can search via room, style, location, budget and size; you can full-screen the images or have them in a pop-out box; and you can save your favourite pieces and create your own mini-folders.
…briefing on global affairs, business, culture, design and much more.
Although the homepage has a lot of content on it, it’s all divided up into it’s categories and panels. Each panel has a little icon at the top telling you whether it’s radio, film, magazine or the shop, and letters to tell you whether it’s in the affairs, business, culture, design or edits category. I love the simple but effective colours used on this site, with yellow as the accent colour. The fixed navigation bar is also a very big plus, as it’s always easy to click through to another section of the site without having to scroll back up to the top.
…trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodation around the world.
This is a great responsive site, providing a great user-centred experience for those using it on any type of screen. Airbnb’s search function for accommodation is great, I really like the split screen layout, with the map on the right-hand side and the listings of the flats/houses on the left. This gives you the opportunity to see all the information you need at a glance. The map also resets the search when you zoom in or zoom out of an area. I also think the video header on the homepage is a great idea as it creates a sense of movement, perhaps reflecting the actual act of travellng around.
— Good web design is a balance between aesthetics and ethics. —
Elliot Jay Stocks