Website design: it’s a fine art these days. You can study it at degree level. There are awards for it. The man on the street has opinions about it – and we all pretty much agree what makes a good website design, and what doesn’t.

Don’t we?

Screenshot of the Havenworks homepage

Screenshot of the Havenworks homepage

Hmmm. Looking at the Havenworks website,  it seems just possible that there’s one small corner of the world where the niceties of web design have not yet been fully thrashed out. White space, for example, these days, many of the websites we visit most often – Google, Flickr, Facebook – recognize that blank space is just as important as text. It’s restful; it allows the user to concentrate on what really matters (in the case of Google, that means the search box, of course).

Then there’s ease of navigation. The very best websites let you navigate through their pages and hardly realize you are doing so. The moment you have to stop and think or search for the link you need is the moment the navigation has scored – in the modern online parlance – a big, fat fail.

Web designers seem to be coming, en masse, towards the conclusion that Less is More. Havenworks is a great indictment of this, showing quite clearly that the opposite is also true: More is Less. Indeed, More is Utterly Confusing.

The question is, with so many talented web designers around, why would you publish out a site that looks like this? I can’t say I know, but I do notice that there is a little wink after the site’s name in the top browser bar. Might it be that the site’s owner knows exactly what he is doing? Think of it this way: I’ve just written a blog post and linked back to the site: one valuable inbound link for him. You’re reading this and maybe you’ll be amused enough to pass the link on to a friend. One more visitor to the site. It’s just possible that this is a complex ploy.

On the other hand, I don’t think many visitors would stay long, nor would they return, so from that point of view, there’s little to gain. I’ll leave it up to you to decide what you think – but meanwhile, let me just mention that if your own site is looking a little more Havenworks than you’d prefer, we can help. From off-the-peg templates to bespoke designs, we have a number of website design solutions that will get you linked to for all the right reasons.