Does it still meet the needs of your audience, or is it still designed for the business you had before it evolved into the business you’re in now?
The Little Things Count
In her TED Talk (below), Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s director of product design, describes how important even the little things are in designing sites like Facebook and YouTube with their billions of users.
The massive scale of their audiences presents unprecedented design challenges in creating what she calls “digital experiences.” What she says are lessons for all of us who are trying to attract visitors to our websites. Excellent content is essential, but design is vitally important, too.
We don’t face the challenges on the scale of Facebook, but it is important where we place our subscription and search boxes.
And it annoys and amazes me when I’ve wandered into a site to look around that the navigation bar will not have a Home tab to take me back to where I started. That happens more often than you might think.
Facebook’s “Like” Button
Stewart gave an example of a “little thing” that Facebook needed to fix: it’s iconic “Like” button. She said, “The button had kind of gotten out of sync with the evolution of our brand and it needed to be modernized.”
I don’t know about you but I don’t think I even recognized the change. But that was a “little thing” that Facebook felt was important because, “this innocent little button is seen on average 22 billion times a day and on over 7.5 million websites,” she said.
The World on Smart Phones
Those of who live in developed countries take access to electricity for granted. We rage at a temporary loss of our lights during an electrical storm.
Facebook recognizes that millions of people around the world live where there is no electricity, free press, or access to public libraries. The company understands that it will have to design for “low-end cell phones,” said Stewart. “It is not glamorous design work, but if you want to design for the whole world, you have to design for where people are, and not where you are.”
Getting back to the design of our own websites, is yours designed for mobile viewing? That’s where our audience is increasingly accessing our sites. Is the most important information “above the fold” for viewing on laptops? Is your site on a dated WordPress template?
I’ve decided that mine is and needs tweaking. I’m glad I watched Stewart’s TED Talk. If a giant like Facebook sweats over the design of a little “Like” button, then shame on us if we can’t put the same effort into the design of our websites.