Monday, October 29, 2007

IL2007 - Session C103 — New Rules of Web Design

Session C103 — New Rules of Web Design

1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Jeff Wisniewski,
Web Services Librarian, University of Pittsburgh

This I think was my favourite session all day. Fast moving. Full of information. Good speaker who knew his stuff.



Keep it simple

Very complex sites needed to provide information expected these days. Interactive rich sites

Content is king

Design matters a lot

users decide very quickly if your site is any good based on design

that negative view stays

if people like design they may ignore some usability issues

All content is created equal

Some content is more important. This should be emphasized. Make clear starting point based on mission and evidence of use

Rule of seven

# of top level categories. Not really a rule. 5-9 categories are ideal. Unless it is necessary and well organized

3 click rule

User swill click many times as long as they feel they are on the right track



but think of other platforms, phones, etc. flexible design. Use CSS correctly

Web safe colour pallets

Most people can use 24-bit colour. use what you want. keep small images to download faster.

How often to redesign – constantly – iterative – major changes are disruptive

Do follow these basics – home link in upper left – clickable banner – contact us top left

More high speed users

Impatient users

Some using slower networks

Support all browsers, however there are other higher value content – graded support – progressive support – browser dependent content – main stuff is compliant – extras may not be



Provide text only version

Not if properly designed in xhtml and CSS

Avoid CSS

Do use it properly – for layout

Popups never

Often blocked so don't put in anything critical – can sometimes be useful for supporting info

Flash is evil

Flash intros ARE evil – flash can be used for tutorials and animation if used properly

Mouseover menus

Usability issues – slower – not always readable

Never open links in new window

Ok if you tell them – ok for external content – ok for help files – less of an issue now that browsers have tabs

Scrolling is bad

People will scroll a long way if they know that there is something to scroll to

Keep it above the fold

Maybe – most important stuff should be—people will scroll

Add images of people to increase trust in site, draw attention, people (labeled) are best. If people are too good looking then they don't increase trust.

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