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Ten Simple Web Design Principles

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Author: BJ Novack

Website design has become so complex, with scripting, and dynamic content and pulling content from RSS and ATOM feeds and Ajax enhancement and ad rotation and . . . and . . . and . . .

I've got a sticky note right on the lower right corner of my monitor. On it are four letters.

K-I-S-S

A glance at those four letters reminds me that there are many people who surf the web who have no clue what all the above stuff means. So I have to Keep It Simple, Stupid! I have to make sure that my website designs function no matter what the skill level happens to be of the person who is using the page. And any person doing web building, whether you're a hot New York Web Design Company or a one-woman web design boutique in East Jibippy PA better remember these ten simple website design principles.

  • Each web page must have its purpose clearly stated.

  • Web Navigation must be clearly visible and easy to use.

  • Avoid clutter, distraction, and flashing/moving objects, and make things easy to find.

  • Business websites should have contact information easily visible.

  • Not everyone has broadband. Design it SLIM, and dialup users will love you.

  • Bells and whistles may be fun, but if a gadget or page element doesn't add necessary functionality, don't use it.

  • Not everyone can see well, so make the text contrast enough against the background, and run the page through a "colorblind filter" (http://colorfilter.wickline.org/) to check usability.

  • Because not everyone sees well, keep the text scalable, don't use fixed pixel or point sizes.

  • Keep page lengths "bite size", no more than two page-downs.

  • ALWAYS remember that the page user can override almost anything you do. Does your design scale and/or degrade well?

These ten simple website design principles can make the difference between a page that's easy to use and a page that surfers will click away from before it even finishes loading.

About the author

BJ Novack runs a web design boutique for small businesses and non-profit organizations, specializing in up to date, search engine friendly, templated, client-managed sites. http://kickasswebdesign.com.


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