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Thread: how to make a user friendly website

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    how to make a user friendly website

    Recently, I've decided to start making money on developing websites (so far I've been doing it only for fun), and, on this occasion, I thought about a list of the most basic things I should always remember about when designing a professional website, to make sure that it's useful, functional and user-friendly. You can think of it as new year's promises Here's what I came up with:

    • Clarity is the most important thing in web design
    • A good structure of the designed document is a key. Start designing with the HTML code only (no style, no client-side scripts). Later, add the style, and, when everything else is more or less finished, add the scripts. Place style and scripts in separated files
    • The worst sin of a beginner web designer is the inclination for cheap flashy, gaudy style. Make sure it's not your case.
    • Do not use animated banners, especially the blinking ones.
    • Generally, do not add an animation to your website, unless you are completely sure that it's necessary, that is, when you want to grab someone's attention or the animation itself is the content of your page. Animations are terribly bad for concentration.
    • Not every animation has to be a Flash animation. The alternatives are: animated GIFs, JavaScript, SVG. For simple animations which don't require high quality, animated GIFs seem to be sensible. For more sophisticated stuff, SVG is probably the most interesting option. JavaScript shouldn't be abused, as it makes the website code too complicated, and the function setTimeout doesn't really work perfectly
    • Do not ever use any of those stupid, tasteless animated gifs that you can find on the web.
    • Static features are usually better than dynamic ones. There are some exceptions to this rule: dynamic features may enliven the website, and they can help to store more information on one page, while maintaining clarity, by hiding a piece of information (like in the tree view). Still, they shouldn't be cheap and flashy.
    • Do not ever use pop-up menus. This is a good example of an ill-conceived dynamic feature.
    • You should always think about the order in which a page will be read. The user should never have problems with deciding what to read first.
    • A menu shouldn't have too many options to choose at one time. The good number of options at one level is about 4-6

    Do you have any comments to that? Would you add/change/remove anything from the list?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    NW Washington State
    Well that’s quite a first post here in the Forum!
    Guess you pretty well covered everything… And of course we’re interested in the topic! That’s why so many of us have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours working through problems and issues posted here. But forgive me if I seem a little suspicious of your motive for the post… go to your blog to read more about your design theory??? Who the heck are you?? While having a link back to your blog from Web Developer may have some value to Google, a post that’s so long on theory and short on substance will not do much to promote your blog here.
    How about this instead? You hang around this “terribly designed” Forum for a while. Learn to find things and then you put your theories into practice with posts helping others solve their Web design problems. Put the application of those theories up for peer review, get some feedback. Show us what “Clarity in Web design” is. In other words, build up some street creds before you come in and knock this Forum, design or other wise. Then invite us to your blog where you can expound on how you came to understand and apply the principles of your Web design theory.
    Best wishes,
    Eye for Video

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Simplicity is the key. If you want your website to be easy for all to use, you've got to keep it simple. Often too many 'designers' try to be too clever IMHO, using the latest technologies but forgetting about the end user.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    At the corner of WALK and DONT WALK
    What's wrong with pop-up menus?

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