4025: Making websites “human”

A good website is built on two basic truths—that the internet is an interactive medium and that the end user is in fact human. In other words, it is meant to be an experience. As with any adventure, a little strategic thought is needed to ensure that the experience is enjoyable. [source]

In A List Apart‘s article, “Human-to-Human Design” Sharon Lee explain the importance for a websites to remember their audience are individuals and the importance for web designers to make their websites feel like an intimate experience (in terms of feeling human and not mass produced). I though this article was interesting because it combined a lot of the ideas our Writing for the Web class discussed.

Here are some of the key things designers should keep in mind when creating their site:

  • Respect your audience. Lee tells designers to take time to know who their audience is and to tailor you message to them.
  • Tell  a story. The most effective way of communicating a message, and websites allow you to do it multimodally and non-linearly. Take advantage of the this.
  • Engage.Your website should create an experience for the reader.
  • Inspire & Enchant. Your website can do more than just mimic your company identity, it can show your personality.

I believe the advice this article gives can help designers make a more affective website. Designers should be making interested in the audience as much as they would like their audience to be interested in them.

I recently wrote a paper on a similar topic, it briefly discussed the importance for artists to show their personalities in their websites. Like a resume,  an online website needs to tell your audience who you are and why you are special from other artists. One website I really enjoy is StudioBenBen‘s. I think it’s important to seem like a person that a potential client would enjoy working with, as well as someone who is good at designing. Which means: Always keep your audience in mind


This entry is part of an assignment in an English class called “Writing for the Web: Digital Story Telling” in which we have to post research relevant to our final project. My final project will be the creation of a professional website.

Your Turn: