Basics of Good Web Design

This should have probably been the first post – but I’m working my way backwards through my presentation for the upcoming DRI SLDO ED meeting (enough initials for anyone?)…so here goes – my highly opinionated version of good webdesign (to be followed by my pet peeves of modern & not so modern web design).

  1. Easy Navigation – Before you even start to build a page – please, for everyone’s sake, draw out your navigation either in a diagram or hierarchy format and play with it, move it around.  I usually write each page out on a sticky note, put it on a large piece of paper and then I have various novices to the site or to the subject come and tell me where they would go.  You are going to be very bored with this after a while – but it will save you a lot of hair pulling out later.
  2. Consistency of Design – nothing is more horrid than going to a front page and then the design elements don’t carry forward to the other pages.  Pick a look and stick to it all.  You wouldn’t change the logo for organization on every printed piece, so why would you change it for every different page on your web?  Top that all off – it irritates me – and as my fellow ED’s will tell you – I’m not pretty when irritated.
  3. Quick on the Draw – how many times have you been to a website and it takes FOREVER to load?  Do you stick around?  Probably not. Make it fast loading is a good website – which means graphics should be clean & small, code should be clean and minimize the multimedia.
  4. Short Attention Span Theatre – The best advice I ever got for web design when I worked for a dotcom was that people have gotten used to webpages being succinct because we have evolved into having short attention spans, thanks to all of our various devices that demand our attention constantly….thus writing for the web should be snappy and short.  Messages should be clear and to the point…and so I’ll stop right now with this topic.  You get the picture.

See – web design isn’t that hard – just stick to these 4 points.

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