Monthly Archives: October 2011
When designing your first website, it is important to avoid some fundamental errors common on all levels of web design:
- Treating the Web as an Argos brochure to be passively viewed instead of a fundamental shift that will change the way we conduct business online
- Managing a web project as if it were a traditional corporate project. This leads to an internally focused design
- Structuring the site to mirror the way the company is structured. Instead, the site should be structured to mirror the users’ tasks
- Creating pages that look gorgeous and that evoke positive feelings when demo’d inside the company. Internal demos do not suffer the response-time delays that are the main determinant of web usability; similarly, a demo does not expose the difficulties a novice user will have in finding and understanding the various page elements. Instead, design for realistic circumstances
- Writing in the same linear style as you’ve always written. Instead, force yourself to write in the new style that is optimized for online readers who frequently scan text and who need very short pages with secondary information relegated to supporting pages
- Treating your own site as the only one that matters, without proper links to other sites and without well designed entry points for others to link to. Many companies don’t even use proper links when they mention their own site in their own advertising.
In every one of these cases, the natural way people go about doing web projects based on their non-web experience turns out to be wrong. Compared to traditional means of publishing, the Web is a new medium and requires a new approach.
I have quite an eclectic selection of sites under development at the moment. Beechwood Gardens in Challock, Kent are having a new site designed and also Edge Building Company based in Sevenoaks are having their first website developed.
Chevron Publishing have had a makeover of their website. They have been clients of mine for many years and publish an exciting range of books ranging from motor racing to wildlife to military history. New site is well worth a look at www.chevronpublishing.co.uk.