Website Redesign: Why do we like some websites and not others?

Whenever I talk with a website designer or developer about redesigning our website, at some point, they usually ask me “What are some of the websites that you like?”

It’s hard for us to come up with a new design for our website when we don’t know have a clear idea about what we as a community like in a website and why.

@zuzanna and I have compiled a list of websites that people have told us that they like - or don’t like:

Now we want to dive into what people like or don’t like about these website - and we’d like your help. Simply pick a website from the list above and use the questions below to tell us what you like or don’t like about it.

  1. What about the website makes it aesthetically appealing (images, colors, font)?
  2. What about the website inspires you to dive deeper (copy, imagery, etc)?
  3. What makes the website simple and uncomplicated?
  4. How does the website use white space?
  5. What makes the website easy to use?
  6. What makes the website understandable?
  7. How does the website engage with the target audience?
  8. How does the website emphasize what it offers its target audience?

You can respond to this thread with your responses or use this spreadsheet.


Please, help us and leave your feedback. Remember that now is the time when you can have a real impact on design of our website. So don’t waste a time and write a comment, contact with me or Jennifer or use the spreadsheet.

@jennifer did you consider to simply publish the new website and then gather the feedback from the community? Please remember that you can easily modify websites on a daily basis.

I am afraid that without publishing it you will never make it publicly available. Gathering such sophisticated feedback from the distributed community might be really challenging or even impossible.

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@jslawinski, I’d hate to have someone go through the process of designing a new website, presenting it to the squad and community for feedback, and then not be able to publish it because we decide that we aren’t that keen on the design. This kind of thing can happen.

Any feedback that we get here will simply help us get a sense of what sites people like or don’t like - and most importantly why. Then we can use that information to work with a designer who is more likely to give us a design that aligns with what we want - or avoid working with one whose style doesn’t match us.

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@jennifer Makes sense. However, without giving any strict deadline I doubt you will get a lot of valuable feedback. Moreover, I also doubt you will be able to prepare a single design that will meet expectations of everyone.

Maybe I missed something, but after few years of working on the new website we are on the stage when we want to probe what community likes or doesn’t like?

@jennifer I just wanted to follow up on this. Any progress?

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@zuzanna, we originally discussed using a Design Forum time to review input on these other websites and call out the similarities. I know that most of the Monday Design Forums have been booked the past few weeks - and they are now opening up. Let’s see if we can identify a Design Forum time and get this on the calendar.

  • Mon, Oct 5 at 7pm Nairobi | 4pm UTC | 12pm Boston | 9am Seattle
  • Wed, Oct 7 at 8pm EAT | 5pm UTC | 1pm Boston | 10am Seattle
  • Wed, Oct 7 at 9pm EAT | 6pm UTC | 2pm Boston | 11am Seattle
  • Mon, Oct 12 at 7pm Nairobi | 4pm UTC | 12pm Boston | 9am Seattle

0 voters

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During Monday’s Design Forum, @zuzanna, @gracebish, @dkayiwa and I went through the community’s feedback on various websites to get a better sense of what people liked or didn’t like. Here’s what we found:

  • Aesthetically pleasing: Clear, consistent, clean, simple fonts and colour schemes.
  • Inspring: Images and videos need to comunicate the message/content displayed on the page. Statistics and community activity. Easy guidance to follow.
  • Simplicity: Easy to find links that take you to what you want to find. Layout is simple - no unnecessary buttons/photos/links. Limited text - not overpowering.
  • Use of whitespace: Whitespace is used for a specific purpose. Whitespace is used consistently to isolate content or break up sections. “Less is more” while not overusing whitespace.
  • Ease of use: Navigation is easy and anticipate’s user’s questions/needs; easy access to important information; website is not crowded but clear

What happens next?

@gracebish will use the results on the spreadsheet and highlight website examples of the above.

@zuzanna will review Wordpress templates and identify a few (3? 4?) that we can consider using.

@jennifer will follow up with the video photographer about digital assets from Maputo.


I have good news. I found 3 WordPress themes which I think include suggestions gathered on last Monday. Also, I create a demo of the new website using one of the themes (it allows to do it online).

So on the next meeting I could show you both and demonstrate how it could looks like if only you want. Cheers


@zuzana i would like too to come in and have a view of these!


Of course, you are invited! I don’t know when Jennifer will organize a meeting but when I will know I tell you :slight_smile:

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Thanks :wave:

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I would be interested in joining the next call as well. @jennifer do we have that scheduled?


Next Monday’s Design Forum time is spoken for, so what about using the website squad time on Monday, 26 October: 7:30pm IST | 5pm Nairobi | 4pm Cape Town | 2pm UTC | 10am Boston | 7am Seattle?


Works for me.

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Could we move it to 4.15 pm UTC on Monday or every hour in a different day? I’ve lessons at university at 2 pm UTC on Monday :frowning:

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The Design Forum time on Monday is already scheduled. What about Tuesday, 27 October at 2:30pm UTC?


for me great

works for me as well

It does work for me too