5 What Makes a Good Website?

Learning Objectives

  • Using examples, be able to describe what features a well designed website will have
  • Know some of the laws relating to website design
  • Understand the terms ‘audience’, ‘purpose’ and ‘fitness for purpose’
  • Show that you can take into account audience needs

Keywords

Words to learn: purpose, fitness for purpose, target audience, theme

Starter

You have 10 minutes to look at the following websites.  Make a few notes in your exercise book about what you think about each website.  Some websites will not be in English:

So what do you think?  As you can probably guess, these are examples of poorly designed websites.  What mistakes do you think the website designer (if you can call them that) has made when they designed the site?

Main – Features of a Good Website

A good website should have the following features:

  • Easy to read – the font and font size should be easy to read.  The colour of the text should be readable, especially if there is a background image.  The colour scheme should be consistent across the website.
  • Easy to navigate – a website visitor should be able to find information easily.  A navigation bar at the top or side of the screen is a good technique.  Having a search helps as well.
  • Comfortably viewed – the website should be viewable on all sizes of screen without having to scroll horizontally (vertical scrolling is OK).
  • Small filesizes – many users have “metered” connections (e.g. 3G/4G on phones), so making a website small makes it better for that type of user AND it makes the website quicker to load.  Large filesizes make the website slow.
  • Check the links – website links to external websites can change – check the links are still correct on a regular basis.
  • Keep it fresh – a website is not a book.  Update it on a regular basis so visitors have a reason to come back.
  • Clear and to the point – Internet users have poor attention spans so the point of your website should be obvious.  Don’t overload the first page of your site with text – make it eyecatching but informative.
  • Make it interactive – add a contact form, have comments on articles, links to social media, add suitable audio and video.  This makes visitors more likely to come back and interact with the site.
  • Compatible with all devices – your website should work on different devices from desktop and laptop PCs to tablets to mobile phones to games consoles to Smart TVs.  Some websites have different stylesheets for different devices.

Purpose

What websites are used for is known as purpose.

Some purposes of websites include:
– to inform – news websites
– to entertain – games websites
– to persuade – political websites
– to promote – shopping websites

Can you think of any other purposes that websites may have?

Fitness for purpose

The purpose of your website is to sell cars.
Your content is about apples.
Is your site Fit for Purpose?  No?

Target Audience

You need to consider the target audience of your website.  Websites are often aimed at a particular group of people.  These groups could be based upon age, gender, educational level and income to name a few.  The content of a website will vary depending upon its target audience.

General audience tips:

Children – bold colours, more images, less information.
Adults – consistency, less images, more information.

Activity

  • Open Document called task1_judging_websites_part_completed.  Click the red text for the link.
  • Save the document into your Web Design folder.
  • Visit each web-site in the document and complete the questions in the table.
  • Make sure your name is on the top of the page.