By Sara Garland
What elements work together to create a good website? According to a website workshop presented to the IDL SIG this fall by Jannetta Lamourt, a number of factors go into creating a site that works for the user and the hosting organization.
Lamourt’s presentation, which took place on October 21, 2022, addressed a multitude of design aspects that the IDL SIG will take into consideration for a future overhaul of the current webpage. She began the presentation by focusing on the fundamentals of understanding the circumstances under which redesigns are necessary and moved on to outline the elements of good website design. Lamourt used this information to highlight the strengths and potential improvement areas of the current IDL SIG homepage.
Lamourt began her presentation by pointing out that good websites don’t need redesign if they have already been revamped in the past 2-3 years. Additionally, if the organization is happy with the website’s performance and functionality, a redesign is probably not necessary. In order to improve a website that is lacking in one of these areas, Lamourt outlined five points to consider and discussed how each one was applicable to a future IDL SIG site redesign.
A website that is content-heavy should focus on organizing that information. In terms of usability, checking to ensure that the site is both desktop and mobile-friendly is important. Aesthetically speaking, looking at the overall layout, including buttons, fonts, colors, and how those elements work together is a major consideration. Visibility addresses the issue of others looking for the website and involves good knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO). As for interaction, the goal is to keep visitors on the site by utilizing the right elements.
At the conclusion of the presentation, Lamourt took questions and comments, and attendees began discussing ideas for future improvements to the IDL SIG website. The presentation offered solid points to consider that could be applied to any website redesign.
Lamourt, J. (2022, October 21). STC IDL SIG Website Make Over. [PowerPoint presentation].
Society for Technical Communication, Instructional Design & Learning Special Interest Group. https://www.stcidlsig.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2022/10/STC_IDL_Website_Make_Over.pdf