A friend of mine needed help applying for a job online. While I was trying to help him, he got “lost” and wanted to go back to the main page. So, what did he do? He typed the address into the navigation bar again. All I could do was shake my head.
During one of my design classes this year, Human Computer Usability and Interactions to be exact, we learned about effective design patterns to help the average person out when navigating your site. One of the most important things is to include an “Escape Hatch”. If you don’t know, the escape hatch is usually the site’s logo. When you click it, it takes you to the site’s main page. This is to help people who “get lost” on your site get to a familiar place quickly.
Why do we include it when people don’t even use it? This is just one example. I’m sure there are other little things that we, as developers, feel is just detrimental to the structure of a site that the average person doesn’t understand. It’s a waste of our time, really. However, no matter what, I won’t, and never have, create a site without an escape hatch.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE web design and development. My dream is to make the internet a prettier place, one site at a time. If you haven’t noticed, it’s desperately needed. Although the average person can
spot appreciate a good design when they see one, they still stick things like a large golden eagle smack dab in the middle of their webs.com (formally known as FreeWebs. Yes, it’s still around) page. They think it looks good when it reality, it looks like trash.
Sometimes it feels like our skills are wasted on our “clients”. I’ve only helped a few people out with their sites but I can already see the issues I will come upon in my career. Since, the client is paying me, their opinion matters. I agree with that to an extent. However, they don’t know what they are doing. That’s why they hired someone. I would, like most designers, want creative control over a website. I really don’t know how I will handle a client with such hideous demands.
If you’ve worked with a client like this, how did you deal with them?