Web Design

I like to develop and enable good websites.  I do it simply, cost effective, but with a sense of solid quality, using the tools and capabilities that are making the web so exciting, but sensibly so….

I urge you to think about what constitutes a good website and use those thoughts to help you in your purchasing decision or next steps.

What makes a good website?

It is easy to find:

  • a good, obvious, memorable domain name, not confused with competitors or unrelated sites
  • the content uses the terms and keywords that you would be expecting to search on, and the content is presented in a search engine friendly way so one can find it via searching appropriately. For example: location dependent services should ensure that the location is described in pages with the service descriptions for meaningful appearance in search engines.

It is there!

  • it is up! – a reliable host is necessary, and one that assists in providing tools and statistics to understand your visitors behaviour.

It is easy to read

  • the website is viewable in the user’s browser. The website must be tested on a range of browser and ideally consider users who may be using aural browser.
  • the style is easy on the eye and pleasant to read. It should not distract you from the content.
  • the navigation is obvious, what the user expects and it is easy to find your way around.
  • there is a site map and/or search facilities for large sites
  • it doesn’t have funky annoying ‘features’

One can find what one is looking for, it has meaningful, helpful content:

  • provide as much information as possible to your users. This will also reduce time required to respond to phone calls and may also retain a potential client, as they may feel more comfortable about your product or service.
  • the content should enhance the appearance of the organisation. It should appear professional and should present a human, approachable front.

It is easy to maintain and update

  • It is a simple effective editing system.
  • It is flexible – bulletproof . The style used should cope well with any content changes you may make and with specifications or limitations of the user’s browser (eg: large text, no images, dial up connection etc). Therefore unless absolutely necessary I avoid embellishments like flash, javascript – there is much that one can do with good HTML markup and CSS.

A good book to help with this approach is Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter)