Tag Archive for: Christian Vasile

Google’s Matt Cutts recently made it very clear that usability is going to be one of their most important ranking factors moving forward, as they emphasize site speed and quality design as the two aspects that aren’t getting the attention they deserve.

Google isn’t the first to pinpoint how important usability is either. It has been one of the most common discussions in web design since its inception, while slowly becoming more important to users.

Quality usability is also at the heart of the of all the biggest start-up success stories. Quality products can be ignored if people get frustrated with the website, while the good or great products that are easy to access or use only attract more people and cement the public perception of a given brand.

You would think usability would have been boiled down to a science by now, or at least be such common sense that it wouldn’t be a big issue, but if it was so easy there wouldn’t be so many of the same usability mistakes all over the web, from big companies to the smallest mom-and-pop shops with an online presence.

Christian Vasile deconstructed these popular mistakes last week and offered options for those that seem to be repeatedly rejecting all the currents standards. Most of these, you’ll notice as bad decisions before you’ve gotten past the headline, but maybe you’ll be surprised to find that you’ve been continuously implementing one of the most hated design techniques around.

Anytime you have an industry where creativity meets business, you face the conundrum of who to target with your work. Do you want to make something exciting and fun that other people interested in design will like, or do you want to make something consumers will enjoy?

The good news is that web designers can do both. If you have just a bit of marketing knowledge and some strategy, you can make a solid design that was as fun for you to make as it is for consumers to explore.  Any good designer should already be attracting their potential audience while making interesting designs. But what do you do if you aren’t?

The first step is to identify your target audience. If you can spot who your demographic is, everything else will fall into place.

Thankfully, identifying your audience has never been easier since you have tools like Google Analytics at your disposal. This isn’t to say this is a walk in the park, but pinpointing your customer base is much more simple and precise than it used to be.

By doing a keyword search in your analytics dashboard, you can also see what people are searching for, and what kind of people they are.

Another way to identify what your visitors like is by simply asking them questions. Blogs are a great platform for this, because you should already be trying to interact with your audience, and you can leverage to ask them what they think about different topics and to offer their opinions. It is also important to note, if you are struggling to interact with commenters because of spam overload, adding a simple Captcha is easy and rids you of most spam.

Social media also offers a huge opportunity to interact with your audience. It is easier to connect with readers on Facebook than it is to interact in the comments sections of articles. Taking advantage of social media also means your content is easier to share, which will attract more readers.

Once you know who you are designing for, you can find ways to make a great site they will enjoy, and you won’t hate making. Christian Vasile has great design tips if you’re having trouble getting started.

You don’t have to sell out and make boring websites because you are designing for a company. In fact, if you do, you are just making bad websites and your clients won’t be happy anyways.