Design is decisions, not options

In this day where we spend more time online than ever.
E-commerce is booming, people are blogging and vlogging about their lives and WordPress is the most dominant open source CMS. Whether it’s for blogging, e-commerce or you name it, WordPres always has a solid solution out there. Not surprisingly I use it on many of my webdesign projects.

Theme quality

It’s not really a secret that I believe in websites with purpose.
However with an over saturated theme market and a lot of DIY webmasters it can be hard to choose a quality WordPress theme that fits your needs. There are a lot of bloated themes out there. Some with thousands of options, unhealthy animations and/or with really bad code.

Multi purpose themes have too many options

Honestly, you don’t need a thousands of options! Of course a theme is a theme and not a custom built website so it needs some options. But the theme should be designed with a specific type of user in mind.

When you sell a product or service you also don’t cater to everyone. You select a target group with s some shared characteristics and a specific need. A theme should appeal like that in a similar way and fit the websites purpose or goal out the box or almost.

Every website should have a purpose. The purpose and the targeted visitors define a huge percentage of the design.

Animations

Another request I often get is to put in more animations and pizzazz. Your website should never have animations just because you think it looks pretty, not serving any purpose.

You may find it amusing and hipster but your visitors really don’t, trust me. Ask yourself what visitors are looking for and expecting on your website. The answer is never animations. Animations can be very distractive and irritate your visitors.

No matter how cool you think the animations are, too many irrelevant animations only distracts the visitors. It’s not what they want and they may end up leaving your website.

Let me give you an example

A few years ago I stumbled upon a website of a taxi company when I was performing competitor research for a client of mine. When I landed on the website it showed me a very advanced flash animation of a car driving up and down the screen. The web developer had really outdone himself. It took about 30 seconds before some actual content appeared.

Ask yourself, when or why would you visit a website of a taxi company? Usually when you want to use a taxi service and either want to find the phone number or other contact details, or you want to do some research on the company itself. If you are in a hurry the last thing you’re looking for is thirty seconds of company pride or ego thrown at you.

Purpose

Like I said, all websites should be designed with a clear purpose in mind. Before you choose a theme, think of what you want the website to do for you. Generally a website should cater to one or some of the following needs:

  • People who are looking for specific information.
  • People who want to buy something or make a donation.
  • People who want to be part of a community.
  • People who are looking to be entertained.

Do not make the mistake that your visitors embody all the needs listed above. For example: Don’t try to entertain people that are looking for specific information. This is actually the mistake people make when they want to overdo the animations on their website.

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