What makes a web site great? How do you evaluate good design? Any tips?

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diafol

I think you'll need to buy a book. No make that 20 books. Each one will give you a different answer. There are some 'golden rules' though. Make sure you're proficient in XHTML/HTML/CSS.

Well, the most obvious is the choice of color for a website. Reds and yellows tend to trigger people to buy. If your selling food these are great colors. Not only Mcdonalds uses this color, but if you think of the other fast food restuarants they use them also. The content on your website is probably the most important thing and an easy checkout process.

w3c 'current best practice',
no fixed dimensions, no frames, no tables, so the site works in everything from handheld/phone screens to widescreen desktops
nothing that requires a plugin to function.. does not mean NO flash/java/javascript/etc means that if flash/java/javascript/etc is not installed the site still works
no light text on dark background
alt text, titles on everything
valid (x)html
valid css

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diafol

Ha ha ha, AB - you may as well upload a plain text file!
I ain't disagreein though.

no fixed dimensions= No px pc cm in, screens are dimensioned in em or %
does not mean NO flash/java/javascript, means the site still functions if flash/java/javascript disabled

very different to plain text files
text reader extensions are part of flash, are easy, but a lot of flash developers dont put them in
given the choice of pass/fail good/bad accessible/non-accessible when both choices are as hard, choose pass
my sites validate,
some include flash elements, but work without flash, they just look prettier with flash enabled.
many clients browse with portable devices, I make money being visible in handheld devices, my larger opposition arent visible,
a lot of money, very little extra effort,
taking 8months holiday starting monday, because I can

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diafol

<off topic>Where you goin AB? I just came back from a 5 week holiday to Italy - almost ruined me. I will obviously have to start getting visible on mobile.</off topic>

Don't over think it, that is my main problem.

The small things usually make the biggest difference.

<offtopic>taking 8 months to go back to Aus,
avoiding the family as much as possible, :P
bought the kids a house each so they would move out of home, now we have not-so-much to do
a horse stud for a month,
a roo preserve for 3 months, raising wallabies who's mums got hit by cars,
a blokes house who's getting posted overseas for a month
want to go to Coober Pedy and dig, bosslady doesnt think 50degC makes for a nice vacation

amazing how many people you meet, in too many years of service to Queen and Country</offtopic>
the css @media handheld works on lowend devices user_agent detection for pertinent strings works on higher end devices, a mirror filestructure of iconized images, no flash, takes up such a tiny server space, and if your opposition are slower on uptake than you,valuable

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diafol

@AB
Nice one - enjoy.

What makes a web site great? How do you evaluate good design? Any tips?

A good website would have simple but good graphic display, good content to read on and user friendly features for easy access to the whole website.

@ almostbob, please explain this line
"no light text on dark background" ;) I'm a newbie, so I'm gathering any knowledge I can find. Thanks.

think about the visitors of the website, think about the product or service of the website, and then think about your idea and layout of the design.

I think that a wesbite needs to be simple, but needs to be unique so people remember what you are trying to get across. You need to be sure to use correct color schemes and need to have a flow so its easy on the eyes :). Avoid flash at all costs as well

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diafol

> @ almostbob, please explain this line
"no light text on dark background" I'm a newbie, so I'm gathering any knowledge I can find. Thanks.

I think AB's on a long holiday. But this design is not recommended. Light text on dark backgrounds are very difficult to read - especially if there's a lot of it. This can be demonstrated easily by looking at forums with this styling. I lose the will to live after a reading a few posts.

@ almostbob, please explain this line
"no light text on dark background" ;) I'm a newbie, so I'm gathering any knowledge I can find. Thanks.

look a this page, dark text light background, easy to read, go to the idiot ArtyCrafty moron sites that use black background and light text, illegible. the eye works best dark on light. You want user retention, compare Google to Yahoo Livesearch/MSNsearch/Bing. all have similary results, google eats them because the interface is clean

by SatPhone from OutBack Queensland,2 of 8 month Holiday is fantastic

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diafol

Ho ho, nice one AB!