Beyond the buzz

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Web development 101

If you’re thinking about building a web site or making a change to your current site, this post’s for you.

Please, please don’t be tempted to start your project with pretty pictures and a snow storm of words. Unless your site consists of 3 pages of text and images that don’t link to one another, please take the time to think about how the site should work before you fantasize about how it should look. Along the way, you’ll be tempted: stay the course, don’t fall off the wagon.

Let’s get started. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Web Development

Not just a pretty face

Can a web site look really great but be confusing to its visitors? Can an unattractive web site be a joy to navigate?

The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Usability

The customer is always right after all

In an ideal world, building a web site requires a different process than developing any other piece of marketing material.

The simple fact is that a web site, by definition, offers a non-linear experience – in stark contrast to every other medium available. With a web site, the expectation from the audience is that they reserve the right to consume the product in any way and in any order they please. As the creator, you can try to lead them down a specific path, but if you don’t allow your audience to explore in alternate ways, you run a serious risk that your visitors will simply walk away. Dictators do not survive long online, if they do at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Usability