Recently, @Malarkey aka Andrew Clarke tweeted “Why are so few websites memorable? Could the reason be our current preoccupation with user experience? I believe it could be.”
Now, I agree to a point to be fair, hopefully I’ll explain why.
I never remember websites and the ones I tend to use are all about the actual content rather than to look good and all shiny. I’d say most people who use the internet don’t look at websites like how us designers and devs look at them. I imagine that’s the same for a lot of things in the world whether it be houses, packaging or cars. We are so attached to what we do that we stop being a user in that respect.
I see lovely sites every day. I usually find them on Twitter or various news feeds. They tend to be the sort of website that show off a developer/designers skills rather than be a functional site although occasionally something comes along that looks fantastic and has great content.
But on the whole, a lot of what “we” class as memorable is gimmicky. In my opinion.
The one site that stands out for me is the BBC website and when they changed the Sport section. I used sport every day, every hour even. It wasn’t pretty to begin with but one day, they made it look nice using their updated design guidelines. BBC make nice stuff anyway but the sport looked top notch. But still, take that design away and it’s still great content that I’d read each day. It would still be a memorable site.
Now, user experience seems to get a bad rap here. We (collective for all UX people) are making websites dull and boring. Not Andrew’s words but other designers that I know. We’re seen as taking the fun out of stuff. Stopping the magic happen.
I disagree obviously.
Websites have to be useable otherwise, well people won’t use them. This doesn’t mean make it dull as fuck. The trick is to make it, well memorable. That could be because of how it looks or how it functions or it could be down to the content itself.
The reason we’re not seeing many memorable websites is because the majority of websites being produced are actually pretty shit.
Woah, Dan, slow down man
Responsive web design has caused a lot of this. Bootstrap, frameworks, flat design, fucking dribbble. It’s caused a lot of people to think, “I can do this!”.
But they can’t.
Yet I still come back to what I said earlier.
“I’d say most people who use the internet don’t look at websites like how us designers and devs look at them”
My guess is, if people are coming back to your website and it’s being used and hopefully making money, it’s memorable, irrespective of how it looks. If the user is happy, the designer should be happy.
UX is king, stop the hating!