...is to facilitate communication between user and content
Designing for the web
means designing sympathetically with the way people actually use the web, not how we think they should.
This section looks at the discipline of web design, how to approach design as a job, and introduces some mental techniques for increasing enjoyment and success.
People approach web sites in very different ways to how we design them
- They skim pages for clues, instead of reading
- They make snap decisions, instead of evaluating and judging carefully
- They might not even be looking at the complete picture
- They are driven by their goals, not ours
Designers need special skills to succeed in this environment
- We must gain the best possible insight into our users' goals, so that we can help achieve them.
- We must get clear on our design's purpose, and have the mental discipline to stick to it
- We must pursue simplicity ruthlessly - if an element adds complexity but not value, it must be changed
To start learning ways of designing for real users, we can gain insights into what the brain is good at. This provides a useful foundation for developing and evaluating design techniques.
Fortunately, the mass experience of digital design is at our disposal, and provides us with patterns and conventions that are proven to work.
- Web Design Process Overview
- Read this first - my complete no-nonsense step-by-step guide to designing web sites
- Attention Map
- Pencil & paper tool for planning page layout
- Design like no-one's watching
- Designers need to learn to look at their work through fresh eyes
- The Design Spectrum
- A visual tool for picturing the relative aesthetic and functional elements of a design solution
- Don't Decorate, Communicate!
- Concentrate on the content of the message you're communicating, which is far more important than how it looks
- Golden Rule of web design
- My golden rule - a simple touchstone to help all design decisions
- Pursuit of the Original
- The value of laziness in design, and why the pursuit of the original can be detrimental to design success
- Simplicity in web design
- Explains why the principle of Simplicity is so helpful in web design
- Think Then Do
- A discipline for visual designers that minimises fiddling
- Work smart, not clever
- Why designers should practice working smart instead of being clever.
- 10 Productivity tips
- My top 10 tips for working more productively