This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

May 2, 2015

Making your website easy to use

I was having lunch with a friend yesterday, and the conversation turned to mobile-friendly websites. Mine has been mobile-friendly since I redesigned it five years ago, and most people thought that I was going to a lot of trouble for nothing. Nowadays, of course, it's critical to have a website that people can view, and use, easily on their phone, and I'm sure you know that recently Google announced that it would give preferential indexing to mobile-friendly sites.

All of this pleases me, and not just because websites these days are optimized for mobile, but because they are now becoming easier to use. The incentive, of course, is to design something that can be used at a glance, and viewed on a screen that is considerably smaller than a desktop computer. Even your gigantic iPhone has a tiny screen compared to an ordinary computer screen from ten years ago.

I'm a Graphic Designer, so I'm a believer that things can be easy to use, and work well. Yeah, I draw cartoons, it can't get more simple than that! Of course, most people don't stop to think how difficult it is to design simply, and that's why so many web pages became such a tangle a few years ago. Complex drop-down menus, multiple columns, and on and on until many websites started to look like what I call *the dashboard of a 747*.

So, please do simplify your website. You can do it because of the need for your site to be mobile-friendly, but a great side-effect is that it will become easier for people to use on any device, whether it's their desktop computer, or a tablet.

I'm having my friends test my website lately. I can tell that they listen intently, preparing themselves to see if some wildly complex thing is going to confound them, and make them feel stupid, and they will have to report back to me that they were unable to find whatever it is I wanted them to find. No one wants to feel stupid, and no one wants to criticize a friend's website. But I'm looking for them to be able to use it in the real world, and so it should be very easy to use.

I want to imagine that people who visit my website are not sitting in a soundless room, with full concentration. I want to imagine them in the real world, maybe walking through a mall and thinking, *I wonder where I can get a custom cartoon illustration for the big project next week?* If I've designed my website correctly, it should be ridiculously easy. If I haven't, I will work on it until it is.

If you're on a mobile phone, please take a look at You should see, at a glance, my logo, what I do, a sample of one of my cartoons, and how to contact me. If you scroll down, you should see more stuff, if you want to. Websites haven't been this easy to use since 2001, thanks to mobile phone users! Thank you!

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