For years now I’ve asked a question during usability tests that almost always comes up with the same response.
Ask test participants which website they most like, that’s easiest to use and does the best job. The answer is frequently “Google”.
That was the first thought through my head when I read this piece, on the Daily Mail.co.uk (link opens in a new window). This article explains how the boring, functional and serenely visually uninteresting Gov.uk website has beaten 100 competitors to win Design of the Year 2013.
The site is clean, simple, efficient and makes good use of white space. Content is clear, consistent and task-driven. Calls-To-Action are easy to spot and in good placement. It’s a good design. It proves that you don’t need to be beautiful to be functional, useful and usable.
Boring can trump flashy, in the end – designers, take note.