First of all, let’s clarify that the machine is Google and the other Search Engines and the User is thee and me.
The difference is simple; the user needs to get information that is useful to them and that they can understand, while the machine wants the website to show its keywords and attendant content that supports the keywords. But how does design fit in?
Website Design and Attention
Unfortunately, humans have amazingly short attention spans. Yes; it’s sad but so true.
So we need help to keep our attention on a website. This is mainly done with designing it with:
- Color for eye trail
- Or with no color for unique interest
- With visuals
- And … headlines
Ah ha! Headlines! These are the points where SEO for The Machine and interest for The User intersect.
Frankly, all kinds of website designs can work. It can depend on whether the site is meant to be terribly professional and SERIOUS or if there can be a more casual aspect to it. But in terms of design, there are so many people on the planet, and so many tastes, that any number of a variety of creative designs can work equally well.
After We Have Your Attention …
Although a variety of looks will work just fine to appeal to the population, what is not left to chance is designing the website to draw the eye to important points of interest, and to the content that will make the user go to the next step. Whether the next step is to buy something, or to contribute in the form of a comment, to ‘like’ the article, or to fill in an inquiry form; almost all websites want something to happen.
The Goal of Website Design for the User
When get the the user gets there, they see something they like and/or can discern easily, OR they don’t – in about 2 seconds! So, since we generally have only seconds to attract The User to stay on the website, the design, eye trail, colors (or no color), simplicity and clear messaging, is ultra important. The goal is to have the user to see what he needs or wants – VERY fast – so that he’ll click into that landing page area. Once the user gets to a page that truly interests him, he is more inclined to spend the time to read and get the information he’s looking for.
Show Me the Pictures!
Images are essential. People love pictures and our world is all about pictures now, not reading. Remember; one picture ONE main message. Another picture another main message, and so on. Photos, graphs, sketches and info-graphics all work. The search engines are not concerned with the images, unless you keyword them, which is a must.
What IS the Difference Between Website Design RESULTS for The User vs The Machine?
This is perhaps the most important question.
When it comes to Google, which is still the world’s largest and most used search engine (although tons of searched also occur in the closed universes of Amazon and Facbook), Google’s goal is to give the User the best experience possible. If you search for pink pumpkins, Google wants you to get a website that has pink pumpkins on it so that you receive the information you need … an authentic, bona fide pink pumpkin website.
On the other side: if you are selling pink pumpkins and are the website owner, then your site should be designed with that keyword and others that are similar, plus you’ll have pictures of pink pumpkins and content about pink pumpkins. Then, not only will The Machine like your website, so will The User. That makes it a success.
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