To be effective, web designers must
consider not only the page download
times but also the UI, Animations and
perhaps most importantly, scannability
of the written content.
This is most definitely not going to be another article on quick loading homepages and how we as designers/developers shouldn’t use animations or videos just because we can. In fact, I’m not even going to suggest we focus primarily on fast loading times.
What I AM going to suggest instead is that we look at the context, especially when dealing with relatively specific demographics. For instance, internet speeds in India are very different from Europe or North America (different, not necessarily slower). We have a very wide variance both, in terms of speed as well as reliability depending on where you are in the country.
While rural and semi-rural India has slow and intermittent internet connections, companies operating out of the business parks of Bangalore or Mumbai with lease lines have an entirely different experience. In fact, this is exactly what happened on two projects I created, one for Amrit Vidyalaya - a semi rural school in north west India and Acme Interiors - a corporate interior design and contracting firm based out of Bangalore.
At this stage you’re beginning to get the picture yes?
However, things really begin to get interesting when we introduce our target audience into the mix. As it turns out, the school website’s primary goal was to attract teaching talent from the Metro cities in India and encourage exchange programmes as well as visiting faculty from around the world. As for Acme Interiors, their target audience were senior managers in India who tend to be getting on a bit and have traditional browsing habits.
So, while the faster bandwidth allowed us to deliver a website with videos and animation effects, we had to design these within a fairly simple almost traditional UI. The school’s website on the other hand, was a different animal entirely. Our user profiles were on average younger and more tech savvy, so we had to create an interesting website experience that would work well regardless of the user’s internet speeds.
So yes, context matters. But there really is much more than meets the eye when we approach this from the user’s perspective. After all, web design is about more than just combining pretty pictures and animation. It has to work in the real world for the client and their business.
So yes, context matters but there really is much more than meets the eye when we approach this from the user’s perspective. After all, web design is about more than just combining pretty pictures and animation. It has to work in the real world for the client and their business.