Simple and Effective Design
Web site designs should be simple, clear and easy to understand. Simple designs and interfaces are the answer to even the most complex systems.
Simple is beautiful
Designing web sites is not just about a new look, it’s about making the pages simple and easy to access; both the content and the navigation should be straightforward to interact with and clear to understand. Usability and compliance with old browsers are important but shouldn’t become barriers to designing web sites.
Let the pages breathe
Too many web sites cram so much information into pages that it’s a struggle is to find a place on the page where there is some free space. The space on some of the Web’s most visited pages has become expensive real estate. This will become more and more of a trend during the fight between traditional media and online media for advertising budgets. But the luxury of space on pages will also be perceived as a sign of prestige for your brand...
A Nicely balanced skill set is required
Designing Web sites requires a subtle mix of experience and skills. Successful web sites hinge on a nicely balanced skill set that includes technical, functional, design and marketing skills.
Effective Design has impact
Visual design is a key to the impact you will have on visitors to your web site. Impact doesn’t mean relying entirely upon the whirly spinning effects of Flash, there are some incredible designs out there and more and more each day. Check out CSS Zen Garden in my ‘links’ section for a wonderful collection. As explained above long lasting impact is often synonym of class and prestige when it is properly carried out. Cheap impact is not worth the hassle that usually comes with it. You need a well thought out strategy to obtain and sustain your impact.
Your web site is the image of your company 24/7, whether your offices are open or closed. Your web site is an extension of your brand online and needs to carry the company graphic charter in every aspect. This charter may need to evolve to include your online presence. Small elements on the page can be designed to recall your brand in subtle ways, icons for bookmarks need to carry your brand etc. Online specific projects can be used to enable you to use the Web to carry your brand around the world. Too many clients I have worked with were frightened of the Web, all they needed was to be shown the ways it could help them.
Technology at your service (open and scalable technology evolves with you)
Choosing the right technology is not easy but choosing a technology that can evolve should be a key factor in your choices. This site runs dynamically from a database, pages are built using XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS both validate with the W3C (check the buttons at the bottom of the page). These choices allow for interoperability with future applications far more easily. Make sure you understand how technological choices may restrict your future options...