OK, so I don't have the perfect website and nobody does! But I though it would be really interesting for each person to post one thing they do or put thought into when designing a website, please be specific (eg, NOT usability). So, I'll go first,

Nice, clean navigation that displays text if style sheets are off!

Next..

A google-powered search bar that lets you choose site or internet in the normal place.An absolute essential that microsoft,in their infinite wisdom, still have not adapted

good colour combination......decent background

A google-powered search bar that lets you choose site or internet in the normal place.An absolute essential that microsoft,in their infinite wisdom, still have not adapted

Is this what you put on your sites? I prefer a proper search especially for a professional website because the last thing you want is someone to leave your site and this is probably what they will do if you put a google search on it.

Yes but it would generate ad revenue and for exactly the reason you just stated-you should give them the option because everyone has it in the taskbar now anyway,you might as well have it handy and benefit.

In my humble opinion at least

I'm not so sure I agree with teh google search box as a "must" - its a matter of personal oppinion, and what you've decided you want your users to have.

For me - Simplicity is key. Unclutter, get rid of everything that is not essential or that doesn't DO something useful. A few other no-brainers:

-snap cursor to the natural first input box in a set of forms. Nothing worse than extra mouse clicks.
-have your logo link home.
-absolutely no dead links
-only one (max two) adsense blocks per page

-only one (max two) adsense blocks per page

I understand why you say that but if you design the site well and intend it to have ads on it from the beginning then have more than that really doesn't effect your sites look or usability.

For example take a look at the page you are viewing now, how many adsense ads does it have? Do they get in the way?

We use Zen-Cart and it works just fine for us. I would recommend it to advanced users, as there is quite a bit of customizing...there also is a great help forum if you have questions...you can find their website by doing a google search for Zen-Cart...

OH, did I mention that it's a FREE program?

They use the same type of help forum program as this one, or they look the same anyway with the Avatar and signature, and quick reply box, smilies, etc...

I like simple. And good colour combination. About 4 colours.
I don't my webpage to load up like a snail.
And I don't want people to get blinded just by looking at my web.
:cheesy:

A creative design. Nothing messy, but clean cut. Easy to read.

That's two, but I don't care! *eyeshift*

A creative design. Nothing messy, but clean cut. Easy to read.

That's two, but I don't care! *eyeshift*

Obviously, but is there anything more specific you can tell us?

Obviously, but is there anything more specific you can tell us?

Well, I enjoy colors that go together. I'm not a fan of bright, flourescent, blinding colors, though I'm guilty of some of that myself. Such as the first blend I ever made- it was of Erykah Badu and incorporated orange, soft yellows, reds, and some soft-pinky purples. It came out well, I think, but I didn't know what I was doing.

I'd like fonts to be readable, too. Some fonts are okay at 8pts, but 10pt or higher and making the font look good are things I like. I don't know why, but I'm incredibly, incredibly against Arial being in 10pt or higher, unless it's on an image or a header or something. I'm not fond of Times New Roman being at 12 pt. I don't really like Tahoma, it's too spaced out. I like fixedys a whole lot, it's easy to read and you can't really make the font look good except at its default size.

:twisted:

I WOULD like people to have a sense of color scheme. Orange and black is cool -- for Halloween. Greens and reds don't really go together unless it's Christmas time. I don't mind if people put weird colors together and can pull it off; but I would really like if they could try.

I don't know how else to put it. Some sites are too simplistic and I'm bored by them. Other sites are simple, but have that extra oomph. I'm very particular about design; though I guess I can't say much considering my portfolio's current design... but that WAS slapped up in about 20 minutes. I sound so picky, but I'm really not that hard to please.

Clean Sitemap has always worked weill for my SEO

Yes but it would generate ad revenue and for exactly the reason you just stated-you should give them the option because everyone has it in the taskbar now anyway,you might as well have it handy and benefit.

I certainly dont have it. I hate extra search bars that clutter my screen.

Colors that match and don't clash. Simple and easy to use navigation.

An example of bad link names:

"my inner darkness" - opens up a poetry page

good navigation
"poetry" - opens a poetry page

And making the links easily seen and not hidden throughout a layout.

Just remember, the main purpose of a website is to present info to a user. If I have to spend more than 3 seconds trying to figure out where and what to click, I leave.

- No moving images, except to demonstrate an essential principle. NO MOVING ADS.

- Never move stuff on the page once it finishes loading. Especially do not move links. Nothing infuriates me more than a web page that moves stuf just as I am clicking on a link. eBay is one of the worst offenders. (I have several times clicked on the bid link and had the Buy It Now link moved under the cursor just as I clicked.)

- No images so huge that you can see just a tiny bit of them at a time in the browser window.

- No popups.

- Minimize the use of scripts.

- No tricky stuff. Don't change the page in the middle of the view.

So many things to choose from :)

But I'd say the most important thing I do for ALL my sites is apply a little Thought & Consideration.

I try my best to ensure it works in both 800 and 1024 resolutions, that fonts are scalable in all browsers, easily legable and whenever the design permits, make things fluid/elastic using em's and %.

Certain designs are obviously out of the question - I (personally) detest any design that "breaks" within a few text size alterations, or when you reduce/expand the window width/height - I just view that as lazy or ignorant (if not both).

The site in many cases, (though not all), is aimed at being informative... if people cannot read things due to their current setup, they should at least be able to easily alter it so that it is available to them,
(that said, I saw someone test a design at over 1500 Res last week... why?).

NO CLIENT SIDE SCRIPTING how you can create a site and rely on your users to have the correct spec is beyond me. Its like going to a pub and having to take your own beer.

A google-powered search bar that lets you choose site or internet in the normal place.An absolute essential that microsoft,in their infinite wisdom, still have not adapted

Using a google-powered search bar, especially in corporate/professional websites, is not good for web usability, in my own opinion. Below are some of the reasons:

- users will instead use their preferred search engine (Google/Yahoo) for searching keywords (the reason why users visit your site is because they want to find information about/within your site, not from anywhere else)

- there is a tendency that a google-powered search will only be a clutter on your page and will create confusion on your user.

- this would lead users away from your site.

For good web usability references, try to read "Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug" and "Homepage Usabiliy: 50 Websites Deconstructed by Jakob Neilsen and Marie Tahir"

Your web design buddy,
Bryan - www.bryanregencia.com
website design | web usability | information architecture | CSS | XHTML

Just remember, the main purpose of a website is to present info to a user. If I have to spend more than 3 seconds trying to figure out where and what to click, I leave.

Nice post my friend!

I absolutely agree to the statement quoted above. This is what I always put in my mind as a web designer.

Website is to present information. Meaning, we should always see to it that our design is easy to use. A successful website is not to have excellent animations/graphics, but provide clear information to satisfy users.

Your web design buddy,
Bryan - www.bryanregencia.com
web design | web usability | information architecture | CSS | XHTML

Rich content and Easy Navigation...

Erm, why is it that when ever I see one of those "steps you take to build a website"... SEO/SES is always near the end?

Wrong! SEO starts wit hthe first line of code, as does Validation and Accessibility!
If you're leaving it till near the end, you've wasted far to much time!


Worse, those things are always generic, and tend to be written from a "media" perspective - not from a sales, personal, presentational manner. Nor do they cover niche sites etc.
If you have a site designed and developed for surrealism, I should damn well bet my haddock that it doesn't follow those guidelines! (Unless I'm a sock).


Of course, just to really rock the boat here - anyone been following posters links and checking whether they have money where their mouth is?
Have a go - it's kind of funny!
(Actually, not funny, kind of depressing).

I always found that as long as you have a good base design. title, body, menubar, header, footer, blah, blah, blah any design can go over top of it smoothly and easily. Is that not what CSS was made for. I mean just look at http://www.csszengarden.com/. Recently I have been working with layers which I have found to be one of the most powerful and amazing tool for web design

readable font size and not so *eye blinding* font colors...a motif...well organized body of text...no typo errors, you don't want to end up reading this -> "I kill beers" or "I drink bears"...and oh, no viruses attached...

Clipmarks, so the user can save the pages whose is interested in.

hi
I agree with all of these great suggestions, but in my opinion, it depends on what the website is for, if it is an informant page then readability, but if its to show of your skill you what some (not loads) of cool stuff like mini **chat forums** **suggestion boxs** **local search engines**

Like i said , in my oppinion

No difference - it should always, and I mean always, be well coded, and in almost all circumstances, accessible.

I have seen so many sites with damned clever bits.... and but for ignorance or laziness, it fails to be highly usable and not the slightest accessible.

I admit, I'm not perfect, took a while before I thought of making form elemnts measued in EM for height etc... but so many people claim to be web-site-develoeprs/designers/builders... and have not got a clue.

Still, at least there are some who are willing to learn and improve - such as people on forums such as this!
(Thank god for communities :) )

Use the font the user wants his browser to display, in the size he has chosen. Remember that some people have chosen large default fonts because they have vision problems.

Don't change the link colors.

Remember that users can block their browsers from allowing font and link changes.

And think that the large font user might wish to scroll your page horizontally, rather than have your lined-up information get separated when the page that doesn't fit falls apart.