Monday, December 17, 2007

Good Web Design Principles

9 Essential Principles for Good Web Design is a pretty good article on how to design better web-sites / web applications.
What I find interesting about this article is that it enumerates all the reasons a few web-sites that I helped developed (as a web-developer) have failed to catch a bigger audience.

1. Guide the eye - if your users don't really know what they are looking for, you should do all possible things to guide them to the thing you want (or, the thing that you think that they would)

2. Spacing, Typography, Alignment, Clarity - I would have grouped these tag-lines under one big item: presentability. But the author has a good point in developing each of the items with separate explanations. It's a better reading. And, he follows the instructions described by the article. :D

3. Consistency - if your web-site changes the look from one page to the other, the users will be confused. Confusion leads to the user leaving your site.

4. Navigation and Usability - you should allways let your users know where they have been, where they are and where they can go from here. The path on a site (navigation menu, bread-crumbs or whatever method you choose) should be easely accesible and easy to understand. If not, your users will be confused again.

Again, anyone that wants to better the user experience on their site, should read the article. If the article does not supply enough information, you should follow the Further Reading lists that end each one of the 9 Essential Principles for Good Web Design.

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