Discover Benelux, Issue 21, September 2015

Page 40

2_DiscoverBenelux_Issue21_Sep_2015_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 28/08/2015 20:46 Page 40

Discover Benelux | Best of Dutch Digital Design | The Secret Lab

The five golden rules for online success Waking up reading the feeds of Facebook and Twitter, checking the latest news before going to sleep: we spend more and more of our lives online. So, what could make our online lives better? Great web design of course. Amsterdambased web development agency The Secret Lab designs and creates websites, applications and campaigns that stand out through innovative design and ultimate usability. TEXT: JANINE STERENBORG | PHOTOS: THE SECRET LAB

“Web design is so much more than a goodlooking homepage,” states Niels Oedzes, art director at The Secret Lab. “With our design, we support the most important web functionalities, optimise conversion, improve the interaction with your target group and more.” They manage this with a set of five golden rules: functionality first, usability on every device, white spaces are key, images are king and content is queen. Oedzes: “By applying these, we help our visitor to find the right information.”

Functionality first Before any visuals are applied to the concept of the website, The Secret Lab establishes

40 | Issue 21 | September 2015

a functional design, in which all the information and functionality is defined per type of page. The foundation of your entire website, so to speak. Oedzes explains: “The structure is based on the purpose of the site, existing content and the target audience.” During the design process, the agency considers all aspects of the final product, in order to meet the website’s goal. “Too many websites do not have this focus on functionality,” says Oedzes, “this results in clients browsing through a tangle of information, trying to find certain information on a website, only to give up unsuccessfully.” This will definitely not happen on

sites designed by The Secret Lab.

Usability on every device “The use of internet on mobile devices has increased drastically in the last couple of years,” says Oedzes, “so it’s a no-brainer for us to optimise websites for smartphones and tablets. It’s the new norm, actually. And of course, the website still has to look good on a computer.” That’s why all of The Secret Lab’s websites have a responsive design. “Basically, this means you see the same content on each device, but the way it looks is different: it’s optimised to fit any screen, which is necessary for the best possible user experience.”