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Website Design & Usability

Website design philosophy

Robert Maxim's auto repair shop website design philosophy is 'usability trumps design'.

Design priorities

We believe the priority of a business website is to benefit and satisfy the viewer's needs. The visual 'look' of a website is a personal opinion based on emotion. And it is your website users' needs rather than your personal preference that should be the priority!

Why such a simple design?

Some people have questioned the simple, clean layout and design of our websites. We take the perspective that our customers choose business tools based on function and performance rather than just “looks”. Website design should be a sound business decision – not one based personal preference. Our auto repair shop websites are built from industry user interface research and sound design principles for ease of use and optimum performance. Simplicity, clarity, functionality lead to results.

How to judge good design

When planning a website, business owners commonly experience frustration trying to judge the "quality" of website design. Everyone wants to have the best "looking" website, but opinions of what a great website looks like vary greatly. Fortunately, good auto repair websites aren't based on emotional opinion. Well designed websites are based on research and results.

What to look for

The look and feel of well designed auto repair shop websites does vary greatly. However, great websites tend to share a number of common key characteristics. Web designers and architects use guidelines to provide them with a deep understanding of these characteristics. For example, the three guidelines that score highest in both relevance and supporting evidence include1:

  1. Provide useful content -- While it seems like common sense, it's not uncommon for websites to contain a company's sales pitch instead of the information that site visitors want. Studies have found that content is more important than visual design, navigation, functionality and interactivity.
  2. Ensure visual consistency -- Design creativity must be balanced with consistency. Studies have shown that tasks performed on more consistent website design resulted in greater user satisfaction, quicker user task completion, fewer errors, and a shorter user learning curve.
  3. Use dark text on plain, light colored backgrounds -- People read dark text on a white background up to 32 percent faster than white text on dark background. The decreased eye fatigue also has a positive effect on website SEO. When people spend more time reading your website it increases website popularity ranking and search engine result position.

1A number of design and usability guidelines and their characteristics are explained in the "Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines" developed by the USA federal government as part of its usability.gov initiative.

 

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