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Thread: 2004 Website Design Do's and Dont's

  1. #1

    2004 Website Design Do's and Dont's

    Happy New Year! 2003 has certainly been a great year and many beautiful and highly functional sites have been developed using proven usability and design techniques. Of course 2003 has also brought us some horrible examples of web design practices.

    With this in mind, let's explore and share some of our design do's and dont's.

    I'd like to begin by looking at a design don't I found at

    What is going on with that background? The navigation simply disappears after you click on a link.

    So what is the lesson in this url? I'll tell you:

    -Background - Don't choose a background that draws attention away from your page, images are specially dangerous and should be used sparingly.

    -Navigation - Your navigation should be consistent throughout your entire site. here is a great in-depth article on the subject

    So, what are your design do's and dont's for 2004? Will any new technologies affect the way sites are designed in 2004? Do you think nothing much will change?

    Look forward to some great replies as usual.
    Alessandro DeBarros
    Account Manager

    Hidden Content

  2. #2

    do doo

    Ok, I'll bite... will 2004 be any different
    than 2003, for Web Design?

    In a word - no... or maybe it's yes.

    I think all the past do's and don'ts still apply.
    But here's a few do doos:
    • Do try to be different - originality is good eventhough
      "content" is king.
    • Do not expect clients or viewers to "get it" - when it
      comes to why you designed a site "that way".
    • Do listen to clients, they know more about their business
      than you do.
    • Do buy all your web site templates from me (comming soon).
      You'll save so much time and money.
    • Don't use the latest technology (flash, CSS-5, streaming video...)
      just to use it. Not everyone is a cool as you (or me).
    • Respect the viewers... usability, clear communication, and sound design - works every time.
    • Learning is an on-going process.
    • and lastly - wireless devices (for internet access)
      need to be considered in designing web sites.

    ... creating something is always better,


  3. #3
    Regarding this bullet:

    -Respect the viewers... usability, clear communication, and sound design - works every time.

    I'm glad you touched on usability, if you do nothing else, build your Web sites so that they make sense to everyone. The Web is so hard to use for a lot of people, that most of America has virtually no interest in trying to decipher a Web site's complex navigation, most prefer quick access to the info they're looking for through easy to use navigation.

    This successful simplicity is shown over and over again through the interfaces of the successful websites: Logo, search box, links, content, all neatly categorized and easy to navigate. Over and over again, the successful sites - your competitors -have embraced this simplicity.

    So fire up your browser right now and look at your website through the eyes of your visitor, create specific tasks to be accomplished, then gage the ease with which the task was completed.


    TASK: Get company's contact info.

    -How many clicks will it take a visitor to find your company info?
    -Can users find the page easily from anywhere in the site?

    Perhaps we should create a list of usability questions, and post them here? What do you think?

    Feel free to share your links like this one named Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2003
    Alessandro DeBarros
    Account Manager

    Hidden Content

  4. #4

    A big DO!

    A big do that so many don't, create and use a site map!!! I'm doing an optimization for a site that has over 2000 pages. It was originally almost 4000 pages with Frames. Either way whoever originally designed it, did'nt take the time to make a site map.

    Can you imagine trying to find the info you want from 4000 pages without even a site map to begin guiding you??? Blows my mind.
    Andy Timmins
    Timmins Networking - Personalized SEO and Internet Marketing Consulting
    Hidden Content (Hobby Site)
    <a herf="">Informational Tip Ebooks Site</a>

  5. #5
    You guys have covered my favourite Do's & Dont's, expecially in regards to Navigation & Site Maps. I cant emphasize on those enough! It doesnt matter how enhanced your site is technically or graphically, if you haven't got ease of navigation, say goodbye to the visitor who initially thought you had a good looking site.

    So I am going to include a new 'dont' of mine since I have started to design to standards & accessibility.

    Don't make the mistake of thinking you cant have a good looking site & still have the standardised technical components.

    When people start venturing into standards & accessibility most of the sites they reference for information pertaining to this area are fairly bland, cut & dry, hence putting off designers wanting to use standards. Designing to standards doesnt stop you using good looking graphics or colour combinations, which when all tied together can still give you a great looking site. There are also more & more snippets of code available in CSS that are making sites more dynamic.

    And another favourite 'Do':

    Do date pages that contain content. There is nothing worse than reading through a whole page of information, then not knowing how current the information is. When researching now I go straight to the bottom of the page to see if the information is dated & how current it is. I usually try & find a current site by adding the date to my search keywords.

    [url returns 404 - removed by mod 07/11]
    It' time for Progressive Web & IT Development!

  6. #6
    Here's another one - Don't Annoy Your Visitors.

    Pop ups have pretty much worn out their welcome. New browsers are coming out with pop up blockers, the Google Tool Bar has a built in pop up blocker, and pop up blockers are selling like crazy. Your visitors don't like them. Use them very sparingly, if at all.
    Mark Frank
    author, Hidden Content
    Learn the business side of website design
    Hidden Content

  7. #7

    some resources I've mentioned before

    Some suggested resources you may want to visit online for design ideas:
    Eric Meyer's site

    Maybe one of my sites will get into that list some day, hahahaha.
    Please Read The Hidden Content .

  8. #8
    - Don't use tables (much).

    - Don't use those freakin' premade WEB HOST templates!

    - Don't use static HTML (It's over).

    - Don't use methods that create stringed URL's (where possible), if you want to attract search engines - or make money. Especially if you have NIL advertising budget!

    - Do keep your web pages LIGHT, in both code and images.

    - Do have AMPLE links to, within and around your site(s). Links are like roads for search engines. The more there are, the better the search engine can get from A to B. Think of link titles and alt tags as "Road Signs"!

    That's my 2 cents.


    P.S. ..and don't use those freakin' animated characters and flashing buttons from clipart sites - ack!
    Hidden Content
    Arguably the most effective and simple lead generation tool - online.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    I'd never have enough time

    I'd never have enough time to get through all 2004 of them.


  10. #10

    Splash Pages

    DON't use flash splash pages that take more than a second or two and don't have a "skip intro" option!

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