Re: Theory? (of Web design)

Subject: Re: Theory? (of Web design)
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- jci -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 09:32:18 -0500

>In response to the question "What principles (theories) of web design have
>you found to be the most helpful?"", Kent Christensen replied <<Nearly
>everything here:>>

Like Geoff, I'll give a qualified support to that statement. But mine will
probably be more qualified than his.

Don't, for pity's sake, design your site like Neilsen's. By all means take
a "do as I say and not as I do" approach to his words. His site, though
improved, is *still* a usability nightmare. (Come *on*, Jacob. You know as
well as I that if any other site organized its information solely according
to the date it was written you'd climb all over them. I mean, for pity's
sake, you don't even give me a helpful keyword list! And you only let me
search from the front page, so anyone coming in by the above URL will think
you don't support searching!)

And feel free to second guess him. The web is still a new medium; we don't
know what the best ideas are, yet. We're still looking for them. Web design
right now is the "kingdom of the blind," and no one yet has arisen who
could lay claim to even one eye, though there *are* some light-sensitive
organisms Out There.

If we're collecting names, I'd add Veen, Zeldman, Weinmann, perhaps
Champeon as sources for good advice.

If we're just after principles I go with this as my top one:

Admit that you're not God. You don't and can't control the size of the
user's browser, the number and type of plug-ins installed, the version of
it, the font size on the screen, the number of colors in their monitor, or
any one of a thousand other factors affecting the appearance of your web
site, so give up on trying and just deal with it. Keep a large number of
browsers handy, and resize your browser window often while checking your
work. You may think you're Hot Stuff. You may even *be* Hot Stuff. But
unless your site looks minimally acceptable the first time visitors look at
it, using their own equipment and favorite settings, you'll never be able
to convince *them* of it.

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.


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