Today we take for granted what 200 years ago would have been considered magic.
Look at the holy grails we have met and achieved:-
We can fly, OK not like superman we might need machines to do it, but we can fly thousands of miles over deserts & oceans in mere hours.
We can instantly communicate face to face with anyone in the world, all those who read sword & sorcery or fantasy fiction know that was one of the prime weapons of the sorcerers arsenal.
Have you seen Lord of the rings?
Nathaniel Rothschild built his family's financial empire by getting the news of the British victory at Waterloo a few hours earlier than his peers, allowing him to buy stocks at rock bottom prices as the Brits believed they had lost.
Later everyone else got the news of the British victory and the stock market rose, he cashed in and as a result of his vast profits the Rothschild's are still one of the world's wealthiest families.
It might be fun camping out for a few weeks, but ask those in developing countries, where these things are still an un-affordable luxury for most, how dirty, hard, horrible and time-consuming it is to forage for wood and fetch water everyday to cook & bathe.
And so the list goes on, cars, heart transplants, microwaves, railways, antibiotics, space travel etc.... All once thought of as unachievable fantasy, now an everyday reality. for us.
How much have these things changed us?
Not one bit!
Humankind still believes in ghosts, magic, invisible gods and demons, we still accuse people of being possessed, burn so-called witches, we are still greedy, envious, want the unobtainable, lusty, arrogant and mean.
We are driven by superstition and emotion, wanting everything now and preferably for nothing.
Of course we have our good attributes but at heart we are still the same old primitive hunter-gatherer driven by our hunger for food, need for shelter and desire to mate, all subject to our emotional state.
Technology has evolved, but we stopped evolving to meet our environment the day we believed we can control it to make it meet our needs.
So what has this got to do with web design?
It means no matter how much technology changes we are aiming our product at Human Beings, this is who we design for!
The same guys who were chasing mammoths with spears, dancing to make it rain, burning epileptics as witches, sacrificing chickens to the fire gods, jumping out of a long-boat and raiding villages.
Our species will always have a low attention span, look for the easiest way to do something, be swayed by pretty colours and will find garish overcooked colours and sudden loud noises off-putting unless they are under 5.
No matter how high their IQ this is how they will approach your website. Design for it.
They won't want to do too much work getting around your site and want information spoon-fed to them, and their going to want freebies.
Forget designing for the highly cultured discerning person, that's not who we design for. If Mr Clever wants your stuff he will find you and he wants an easy time browsing your site too.
If you want to go highbrow stick it in your blog, you're looking for customers not an audience.
- Make it attractive but not garish.
- No loud noises (booming soundtrack)
- Keep it simple to navigate
- Keep it quick to load
- Keep it brief to read
- Give a Freebie