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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Your Website is not that Great – Here is Why…

If you’re reading this then no doubt the title must have been catchy enough for you to want to read and learn more. Perhaps you are bursting with pride after a recent redesign or rebrand on your website and am feeling confident that you do now have a super cool website. Perhaps you invested time and money to get the current look and feel that your website has today. After all, websites to some certain degree these days are an artistic expression on who you are and what you do. Furthermore, you may even have metrics supporting that things have improved since revamping up your website.

Are you still feeling confident? Or are you having second thoughts and now thankful that you followed all the recommended steps to build a great website? Ensured that you met all the web standards including accessibility standards, listened to the branding and marketing experts on what works well for your target audience, tested and checked it out across different browsers and devices?

The Question that Keeps on Playing on my Mind 

Long ago I asked this very question: “What makes a great website?” or more specifically what makes good web usability? In fact – this is the very question that keeps on playing on my mind.

It became quickly evident that it would be impossible for anyone to empirically claim to have the magic formula for what makes a great website without a deep understanding on the problems that websites impose. The Internet and its users are inherently complicated, in a constant state of change and always evolving.

In recent times there has been an increasing trend towards awareness on making websites accessible and a push to force compliancy or even enforce it with hard law. Creating awareness is great, however, enforcing something by law that doesn’t solve the underlying problem is a little short sighted and potentially creates problems.  This is because unless the criterion caters for every single individual it is immediately refuted and doesn’t provide the best ideal outcome for everyone.

Web standards, best practices, suggestions offered by branding and marketing experts do help improve to make better websites however they are not the means to the end.

Eventually it dawned upon me that what makes a great website is greatly influenced and subjective to each individual. After thinking about this more I set out to prove this by creating what I call the “three-door hypothesis” check.

The Three-Door Hypothesis Check

The three-door hypothesis check isn’t a difficult concept to understand.  It about putting three different spins surrounding a single point but arguably connected.

Consider the picture below that we created just to illustrate this point – three doors illustrating different times of the beach. Which door would you open and walk through to enjoy the moment at the beach?

Picture of the beach with three door over-laying. Inside first door shows the beach when raining, on second door a beautiful day and third door the beach at sunset. Three choices on different takes of the beach.

Most chose the middle door of clear beautiful day at the beach and a few romantics chose the sunset. Personally, I would choose either the sunset scene as sunsets are always beautiful to watch or the gloomy beach scene, as it can be truly exhilarating to see the angry waves and feel the energy of the sea.

Using the three-door hypothesis as a check on good web usability, I would then think of logical questions and form three good hypothesis based on what the standard would suggest, what an expert or web developer would suggest and what formed my own personal opinion and run these past different people. I would always find that all three different offerings where favoured with good supporting reasons for accepting one and rejecting the others. Clearly the generalisation wasn’t so prevalent and in certain situations I even had swinging decisions where people changed after following up some days later.

It became more apparent that unless we tackle the differences amongst different people we can never truly claim that any website is great as there will be always someone who doesn’t like something or believes it could be improved or made better or simply wishes it was presented or caters for interaction in a different way.

I also felt that we could do better than just focusing on target market and increasing the reach and conversions within the group.  What happens when the target market changes and evolves over time? Or what worked yesterday suddenly doesn’t work tomorrow?

My understanding on what makes great website changed and was forced to think differently towards web usability and online experiences. I focused on imagining how the future of the Internet and web browsing could be. And suppressed thoughts on thinking about how difficult the problem is to solve or the impossibility of making websites appear “perfect” for each individual.

Future of Internet and Web browsing

It is apparent that there are preferences and choices in everything we do: from the way we do things, what we like and don’t like. There is no reason why this concept cannot be applied to the Internet where information via websites was presented in the way you want it to be, allowing you to seamlessly access and interact with any website in the way you want.

It is not a question of whether websites can be tailored and automatically personalised to each individual but when.

At Hueyify we are working towards our vision on a platform that would help contribute and make every website great.  The Hueyify platform has a learning engine designed to evolve and adapt with you with one purpose - to continuously ensure that your experience online is at the optimal.

You can register your expression of interest to be notified when the platform is ready to use at:

If you are interested in the Investment Opportunities with Hueyify then please contact us at: Investment Opportunities

About the Author

This article was written by:
Kenneth Springer
Founder at Hueyify | Thought leader for the next era of Web browsing