Designing Inside Out for Better Results

How prioritising your users core values is the most important thing you can do


A company’s website is its calling card to the rest of the world.

A well-designed website can be incredibly influential for organisations who are looking to attract new leads, it can make a small company look more successful than they actually are, and conversely, a poorly constructed site can make a promising company look like they’re stuck in the dark ages.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that design teams expend considerable time and effort debating what colour the background of their website should be. Whilst this isn’t a trivial decision, it implies that customers come to your website to look at its art-direction, much like they would if they were going to an art gallery. Sadly, this is not the case - they come to do something.

That’s why your website should be designed ‘from the inside-out’ with a clear focus on its capacity to accomplish its visitors needs.

This model was initially introduced by Are Halland in 2007, and whilst the theory is now 8 years old, it remains as valid as it was back then. Halland made reference to content like press release archives and lengthy vision statements as unnecessary and failing to contribute to user experience. The model states that content of this nature can either be removed or merged to so that it’s not too intrusive.

Once this type of content has gone, only core information will remain. This information will be in line with the company’s overarching business aims and connect to the users desired objectives. The model’s most important application comes in its ability to tell graphic designers what to emphasise in artwork and UX designers what to prioritise in terms of modules on website pages.

It’s essential that companies identify their core values, an understand where their key inward paths are coming from. They must also determine what constitutes core content and design the site around this.

If this is done successfully, it means that all those arguments about how the homepage should be designed can be left till last, as content pages will take centre stage.


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