Monday, October 26, 2009

Web Design

1. Many parallels can be drawn between web design and user-focused product design that we have discussed in class. In product design, the designer must be sure to create a product that is easily used by someone who is approaching the design for the first time. The designer will (hopefully) be able to use every function of his or her product without a challenge, but will a user who is not intimate with the product's design be able to do the same? The same idea can be applied to web design. The designer of a website that sells a certain product may know that there is a link to items a customer has recently looked at at the bottom right corner or every page, but will a first-time visitor to that website find it easily? A good product designer and a good website designer must put himself or herself in the shoes of the user.
2. Flanders' most important ideas were explained in the beginning of his article. He lays out the possible purposes visitors have when visiting a website, and explains that the web designer must have these purposes in mind, not his or her own needs. He then describes important factors that either help or hinder a visitor. Most of these points were about the visual aspect of a website. Readable text, layouts that make sense, and clear navigation options (mapping) are all vital to a well designed website.
1. Content. Does my website even deserve to exist? Am I catering to my own needs, or do I have my visitors in mind? Is the website's main focus clear to first time visitors?
2. Appearance. Is my home page visually appealing or not? It is too easy for a visitor to be immediately turned off by the appearance of the home page and leave within seconds. Is the font easy to read? Is the color scheme pleasing to the eye? Is there too much information on a single page?
3. Navigation. Can a first time visitor easily and quickly access what they are visiting the website for? How easy is it to jump from page to page without getting lost? Is the home page accessible from any page?

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