Almost Anything: An Evolution in Website DesignBy Jenny Rain
January 24, 2016
Whenever I ask our developers if we can do something on our website, their response is always the same. “Of course! We can do almost anything you would like us to on a website!”
As a client, this response delights me. As a creative agency responsible for setting the warp and woof of web design, I find myself asking:
Is our ability to accomplish “almost anything” in website design a GOOD thing or does it render design standards obsolete?
Freedom in web-design means we are consistently challenging ourselves as designers to think beyond the limitations of yesterday’s design trends. This can be a great starting point as demonstrated by the following sites. Example one expands our views on how we can creatively use navigation.
Example two uses oppositional vertical scrolling to guide users through a menu of amenities (graphic two). Each menu item is highlighted by a descriptive background graphic and also uses iconography to help the user remember which amenity they are viewing.
If you hover over the up or down right menu items, the icon for the next/previous menu shows up (graphic three).
The antithetical view of “anything is possible in web design” is that a lack of agreed upon standards — either by the larger design and development community — or within an agency can lead designers and developers into the land of ineffective and confusing UX.
We’ve all seen sites that have struggled to keep effective navigation at the forefront, thus leading users to scratch their head wondering “how did I get to this page and how to I get back?” All of us have run into those types of websites.
So is the answer open standards or freedom within a framework? Discuss below in the comments.