Fundamentals, and how you are affected
Web sites should be easy to navigate.
Your site’s visitors should not have to hunt for information or feel lost. Confusing navigation, too much navigation, and inconsistent navigation are the downfall of many sites. A pretty website is no good if it can’t be used. Not all of your site visitors are Internet Pros.
Web sites should be viewable on any browser and operating system.
Whether your visitors are using Internet Explorer, some other browser, or are blind and using a site reader, they should have easy access to the information on your pages. Telling your visitors what browser to use to visit your site is like telling your customers what color shirt to wear to visit your store. The site may not look the same on every system, but I try and keep it close and usable.
Web pages should load quickly.
While the latest bells and whistles can look nice and be fun, they frequently increase the time it takes for a page to load. No one likes to wait for a web page to load and web surfers love their “back” button.
Web sites should look pleasant and clean.
These days, people prefer nicer looking web sites. This also means text on pages should be brief and arranged in a manner where the information is easy to find. A cluttered web page loses visitors.
Web design is not just about “our vision” or “your vision”
Beware those with a vision for your site. Frequently, that vision is not what will appeal to your customers. Sure, we want the site to be YOU but we also want your customers to like it and to keep coming back for more. Websites can be art, but don’t get too stuck on any one concept. Sometimes, we have to let that go to ensure the site works well for your visitors.