Designing with Purpose

Designing with Purpose

Designing with Purpose

One common mistake we all tend to step into is not designing for the user and the website’s intended purpose. As designers, we have our own style and taste for aesthetics which can be debated till the cows come home, but in the end design is all about communicating the content and its intended purpose for the users.

Design Trends
Does it get abused?

Over the few years that I have been in the industry I have seen many discussions regarding design trends such as the glossy web2.0 style, to the grunge style, and now to the retro style. Personally I enjoy seeing the wave of different trends (a lot of it is very inspirational to me) but I feel that some tend to forget who we are designing for.

I don’t see any harm if it’s for a personal website, and its probably ideal if that trend ties into the theme of the project goal. On the other hand, if the designer is moving with the trend for the sole reason of following the trend, I believe this is where it gets abused.

If there was a corporate website such as Apple, would it be wise to go with the grunge theme? As extreme as it sounds, sometimes we all tend to design for ourselves (the designer) and forget about the initial intent of our client’s and user’s goals.

Usage of Flash
Making the right choice

About 99% of the time, the presence of Flash on a website constitutes a usability disease. Although there are rare occurrences of good Flash design (it even adds value on occasion), the use of Flash typically lowers usability…

This was from an article by Jacob Neilson back in 2000, now it’s been almost a decade since this article and flash designers have come a long way since, taking awareness in usability and “99%” has probably been brought down significantly. What’s gold about his message is that we tend to forget why we are building these websites.

When making decisions on when to and when not to use flash, always take a step back to see the bigger picture of the project. Ask yourself; is flash necessary and helpful to fulfill the project’s intent? Or are you just entertaining yourself? Focusing on the website’s intent is the key factor in everything we do.


Our role as designers is to make efficient, useful, and communicative websites. If the message is not being communicated and the initial intent of the project is not carried out, we are failing our tasks. So the next time you design a website, always take a second thought on your design’s effectiveness and its intended purpose.

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