Coffee break diaries @ The Discomfort Zone

We’ve had a little redesign in the office (or, to put it another way, we moved some desks around) and we’ve created a lovely little meeting space we like to affectionately call: The Discomfort Zone.

And what better way to try The Discomfort Zone out for size than to sit down and have a chat about web design, as part of web design month.

With coffee and Pet Lamb brownies, of course.

We aren’t web designers, but we are frequent users of the web (like pretty much anybody, really). So we had a look at what web design means, if anything, to us.
It turns out that web design definitely has an impact on us, and on how we feel about a company. We couldn’t help but moan about live chat pop ups, pop ups generally, and websites that are so animated they make you reach for a paracetamol!
But one thing we do love is a website that is easy to navigate. If you walked into a shop and couldn’t find what you were looking for quickly, you’d probably walk back out. At least in a shop, an assistant has an opportunity to stop you and offer help before you go. Who can stop you leaving a web page? If you Google ‘average time spent on a website’ you’ll get a variety of answers ranging from 6 – 20 seconds. I don’t know about you, but I’d definitely spend at least a minute searching shelves before walking out. Looks like we’re a lot more impatient online than we are in the real world. All the more reason to make a website as easy to use as possible.

With all this talk about what websites should and shouldn’t be, it all sounds like a lot of hard work. Could a business just not bother having one at all?
Well there was a resounding “definitely not” from The Discomfort Zone. It would be a lot like bricking up your shop window. Let’s be honest, would you be entirely convinced that a company was real, or reputable, if it didn’t have a website?

As we all reach for yet another brownie, we’re starting to realise that we do judge an awful lot based on a company website. The better the website, the better we assume the company is, and the more modern, the more forward thinking. And if a business doesn’t even have a website – well we just assume that it’s not worth bothering with.

Fortunately, the brownies happened to be very good at squashing any guilty feelings we had about rejecting the website-less, and we all concluded that this is just the way of the digital world we now live in.

We did talk for quite some time about our own website, but we’ve decided to leave that part out because it involved a lot of sighing and putting heads in hands. The good news is that we’re in the middle of building a brand new one, which we’re all really looking forward to showing you.

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