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The 10 Commandments Of Web Design

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I just read this article and think that it is very useful and simple and that it will help all of us that work in this area, take a loot at The 10 commandments of Web Design
Best regards

Though an interesting read, I likely would have come up with different ones. I think I would only keep a few of his commandments. Here's my thoughts after designing hundreds of sites over the course of a decade.

I would have put the nagivation as #1. The hardest thing is to get someone to click. Keep your navigatoin simple, at the top and consistent on every page. There should be no learning curve for visitors.

And #2 would be to treat your site as a "drive thru menu". In other words, keep it short. Rather than listing every service you offer, put the most important ones. Keep your graphics files small and design your pages so that they load quickly. On that note, your graphics should never have jagged edges or be stretched or shrunk by your html code.

#3 is use of colour. Colour has to be the right blend of contrast and eye gravity (and eye candy). Text must be clear to read, ideally dark on white (or very light). Use minimal amounts of colour but use it wisely when you want something to stand out. (Too much of anything is a bad thing.)

#4 remember that movement causes the eye to gravitate. It should be minimized on the page, but should exist where you want to draw attention to something.

#5 Flash should be an element, not a structure. Putting flash elements into your site allows you to add things that flicker and alternate. Sites should not be built in flash as it interferes with navigation and SE indexing. Use flash as a tool only. Flash intro pages are a waste of time. Most people hit the skip button anyway.

#6 Make it easy for your prospects to connect with you. Don't hide behind your web site. Put your phone number on every page. (For the most part a contact page is a waste of a click.) Put this information in your header or footer. Besides it will help with SE indexing anyway. Consider "live-help" options too.

#7 Test and monitor your results. Review your goals and your results regularly. Is your site doing what you aimed for? Why or why not? Test ... tweak ... and improve. Your site is not a static island unto itself. Keep it up to date. Keep it accurate and free of coding errors and typos. Keep it interesting. Give your customers and visitors a reason to return. Your site must be updated. Businesses evolve. New clients are added to your roster and your business always has something new to say. (So say it!) Regular changes to your site will keep the google bot coming back to your site to re-index it. The more often you update it, the more often it will return.

#8 Advertise your site in the real world. Put your URL on everything that has your company name on it.

#9 Your site must "accomplish something" for your business. Understand what your goal is. Consider the ultimate goal ... make every visitor determine if they are a prospect or not ... and then have them tell you. Establish realistic goals and expectations. Keep in touch with your visitors. Develop two lists (customers and prospects.) Use email regulary to communicate with them. Don't treat the internet as an inherintly different medium than the real world. If you wouldn't do it in the real world, don't do it on your site. Time honoured busines practices still apply on "the net".

#10 Never use microsoft frontpage. HTML should be hard coded. It isn't hard so don't be lazy. WYSIWYG editors put unnecessary code into the html.


Perhaps I should put this in my blog!


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Those are good things to keep in mind. Although there's a few things that I don't agree with:

Thou Shalt Not Use False Code:
You should only use html, PHP or ASP to create your web pages. Never use java, xml, dhtml or other forms of code that require a surfer to keep their browser set up “correctly” to accommodate your page. Unless you sell to “geeks” and “techno-nerds,” this will only lose you visitors and won’t make you any friends.

First of all, PHP and ASP are not the only server side languages. What does the user care how the server does its business... I'm guessing Java here refers to applets. I don't see problem with using Java applets today, as long as they serve a purpose. Java is something that should really be installed on every machine intetnded for www use. Naturally alternative for browsing critical items such as menus should be offered but IMO Java is just fine.

And XML... Semantic web is never happening if we dear webmasters don't start using XML. Remember, xhtml is XML and it's created for old browser compatibility (just gets intrepereted as HTML) but it's machine readable as any XML document. And pure XML with HTML transform or stylesheets is not an anathema anymore, few years old browsers handle it just fine. Granted, mobile devices will have problems, but why not convert it to WML for them? Not that different and not that hard.

Thou Shalt Not Annoy:
Use only stationary text and graphical layout elements. No Scrolling text, marquees, or large Flash animations of any kind, including those annoying, full-page Flash home pages that say “Skip Intro.” This “eye candy” rarely adds to a site’s main purpose and often causes your visitors to miss something or leave in frustration.

Anti-flash attitude is so 2002. I used to think so but after having some really nice sites implemented completely in Flash has changed my mind. It is really good technology to do things that html and Javascript just can't handle. I agree that Flash animations on homepage are sometimes annoying but can also work well.

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