Thursday, October 03, 2013

11 Web Design Do's and Don'ts

In its infancy there really was no real web design. It was a wild and wholly tech-info-slap-together-fest. Now web design has come into its own with professionals and experts to boot. But every now and then, the well-established rules of commonsense design get broken. And this can call for some reminders.

So, here are some do's and don'ts reminders for web design.
  1. Don't design web pages like you would for print. Web design is not going to be as consistent as print. Web designers have much less control over what the end-user sees than do print designers. Accept that.

  2. Do design websites as if they have the advantage of being accommodating for different viewers and viewing devices. Don't see it as a disadvantage, but as an opportunity to engage different audiences differently.

  3. Don't use use a lot of reverse type on dark backgrounds. The web doesn't absorb lighting. Rather it emits light. So, it takes more energy to read text on a screen than on a writing surface. Therefore large amounts of body text will become tedious to read for most people.

  4. Do use dark text on light backgrounds. And use high contrasting colors too. Those with color blindness will thank you.

  5. Don't force viewers to read tiny type. It's a pain having to increase the font size and it doesn't always work with the original design.

  6. Do have a plan. The best websites are those that are put together with purpose, and have a coherent story and structure.

  7. Don't design without considering your main audience. Designing a site for 60 and up retired persons will not be the same for 20-30 year old rap fans. It just isn't.

  8. Do have a pleasant color scheme. Colors that go together can be powerful especially if you do it with restraint.

  9. Don't have too many colors. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. It is also very amateur-looking too.

  10. Do start with content first. Your web design should be driven by the content, not simply by the style.

  11. Don't make your viewers have to think. Web design is all about navigation. It's like way-finding design. You consider the environment, who the user will be, and what they will be looking for. Then you design a site that can be navigated easily. See # 6.
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