Evaluating the quality of web design is predominantly a subjective process as it needs to be evaluated in relation to some sort of demand or need of a user. It does not make sense to talk about good or bad web design only evaluating how pretty it looks. Most people do not use websites in order to be visually stimulated, but instead to find information, to make reservations, or keep in touch with contacts. They thus evaluate the successfulness of a website’s web design on its ability to deliver information sought, help make reservations, or facilitate keeping in touch with contacts.

Talking about good or bad web design in this way only makes sense if it is in the context of what the user expects. The most important part of the quality concept in web design is thus the user’s evaluation of the web design’s success and not the designer’s. Quality in web design is the degree of fulfillment of the user’s expectations.

When developing the website that makes your business run, we need to evaluate web design from a business perspective. However, relying solely on a business perspective of quality is dangerous.

Many websites are build on a concept of quality that relies on what the market demands and what currently works, but to prevent the foundation of our businesses from being pulverized by new competing products, we should rid ourselves from preconceived and esoteric opinions about what quality is. Instead we should evaluate the quality of our work with basis in the users’ mind and with an ignorance of what the market demands.

The key is to evaluate quality with basis in the user’s expectations to how a web design solves his or her needs and then pull down a business perspective, which in turn most likely will make us deviate our design from blindly living up to the users’ expectations.

Anders Toxboe Author

Based out of Copenhagen, Denmark, Anders Toxboe is a Product Discovery coach and trainer, helping both small and big clients get their product right. He also founded UI-Patterns.com and a series of other projects. Follow Anders at @uipatternscom.


  • Web Design India on Jun 17, 2009

    Thank you very much for given this useful post…

  • Quality Web Design on Jun 19, 2009

    very useful guidelines… thank you very much.

  • Web 2.0 Development on Aug 29, 2009

    Well Said. That is teh very reason every thing is user centric or task oriented. There is nothing like a good or bad design in isolation.

  • Professional Website Redesign on Aug 29, 2009

    That is I think how many static but highly useful websites convert well. It isn’t always about looks but also about the functionality.

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