Web design encompasses more than just whether a website looks good or not. It aims to create a user experience that is both intuitive and effective.
Good web design communicates your values and drives your customers to action.
In the mid-1990s, long before the days of YouTube and Instagram, the internet was a very different place. Websites were basic and often liberally decorated with a selection of highly distracting animated GIFs. It was during this time that Warner Bros. was developing a website for the upcoming disaster film, Twister. While other film websites of the day were focused on theatre screening times and plot synopses, Warner saw an opportunity to interact.
The resulting website greeted users with a front page that resembled a vintage green-screen computer terminal. Once logged on to the terminal, an incoming email would warn the user of an inbound tornado and invite them to become a volunteer storm chaser (yes, please!). From there users were taken to the Severe Weather Institute Research Lab (SWIRL), where they could learn about tornadoes and even gain practical advice on what to do if caught in one. The public was hooked, and Warner had just discovered the potential of the website.