Top 5 tips

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by timmillwood, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. timmillwood macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 7, 2006
    #1
    What are your top 5 web design and development tips?
     
  2. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

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    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #2
    1. Learn why standards and CSS can make your life easier and your client happier.
    2. Read A List Apart.
    3. Understand why tables aren't for layouts.
    4. Write it by hand. No WYSIWYG, no crutches.
    5. Just because it has AJAX, JS effects, reflections and gradients doesn't mean it's good.
     
  3. Benjamin macrumors 6502a

    Benjamin

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  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #4
    what is "good"? how do i know when i've succeeded?
     
  5. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

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    #5
    Clearly, "good" is a subjective end-goal. I was merely saying that just because you spray perfume on it and wrap it in a bow doesn't mean it isn't crap.

    A good idea with spartan execution will likely take you further than a bad idea with flashy effects and pretty pictures. If your idea is good, people will stick around through iterations until your execution improves, but if your idea sucks, they'll show up for the sizzle and leave because there's no steak.
     
  6. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

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    Nov 26, 2003
    #6
    As with (nearly) everything is life, the devil is in the detail.

    Also, another obvious tip is make sure all your potential visitors (or customers in a commercial setting) can actually use your website.

    Sounds obvious, but it's not always followed through in practice.
     
  7. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #7
    agreed. in the form/function balance, i'm always on the function side.
     
  8. tutubibi macrumors 6502a

    tutubibi

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    #8
    Take epochblue's tips and don't forget usability.
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #9
    not sure if that was in response to me, but yes, my sites tend to be highly functional, useable and kind of moronic looking :)
     
  10. tutubibi macrumors 6502a

    tutubibi

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    #10
    That's the way I like them :)
     
  11. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    #11
    Unless you want side-by-side DIVs. Then, go for it! :D
     
  12. timmillwood thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 7, 2006
    #12
    Great tips, i am just trying to get my head around all these web standards.

    Got Zeldman's book, great read! Will help me out with my new ventures.

    P.S Benjamin your site is VERY impressive. Why don't you create a how2 for some of your features. eg
    size bar changing without reloading (I know its AJAX but how)
    Instant search
    etc
    etc
     
  13. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

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    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #13
    I'll bite...

    1.) Download FireFox web developer tools
    2.) Know why CSS is so powerful for different types of media
    3.) Always start off with a mockup
    4.) Always have a good developer on hand for dynamic projects
    5.) Just because you can make a website doesn't mean you're a web designer!
     
  14. radiantm3 macrumors 65816

    radiantm3

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    San Jose, CA
    #14
    I find Firebug a much more useful developer tool than that. I have both installed, but I haven't had to touch web developer for months. Firebug is just so much more powerful.
    Not always true. Sometimes it's a good idea to build a usable shell via code first. It lets you focus more on markup semantics and general usability rather than hiding flaws with a nice design. I don't do this that often, but sometimes working backwards brings surprising results.
     
  15. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #15
    Out of the recommendations here, I'm learning to hand-write my CSS :)

    Take a look, I know I used an example CSS and it's fugly, but I did it all by myself without rapidweaver and I'm proud :cool:

    BTW only the news link works :eek:

    http://www.desnousa.com/css/index.html

    I will stick to rapidweaver - but I would like to migrate to my own CSS one day :)
     
  16. epochblue macrumors 68000

    epochblue

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    #16
    It's a good start, for sure. Keep it up!

    If you want some inspiration on the power of CSS, I highly recommend clicking around this site.

    All the versions of the site use the same HTML file and submitters provide different CSS files to achieve the different looks. Very interesting stuff, IMO. :)
     
  17. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

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    #17
    True, but that can also be considered a mockup ;)
     
  18. stndn macrumors member

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    Oct 22, 2006
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    earth
    #18
    Not really my top five web design and development tips, but more like five out of many things everyone should think about when doing web design and development:


    1. Set a goal:
    What do you want to accomplish with your design? What do you want to tell your visitors?

    2. Learn the basics:
    Sure, there are tons of tools that can help you develop and code something. But without the basic skills, you won't get too far ahead. Learn how to work things manually so you can figure out (any) mistakes quickly. There is a reason why the term RTFM is popular.

    3. Data before design:
    While it's not always convenient, it's best to get the content out before starting your design. It's easier to have your design flow around the information you want to communicate, rather than trying to squeeze the same information into your design.

    4. Think about your visitors:
    You code, you design, you test, you publish. Sure, it will take you five minutes to learn how to work your website and the flow of contents. Now, try to throw your great website to the public who has been too busy enjoying the outdoor. Will s/he know how to get anywhere when shoved with your website?

    5. KISS leads to LOVE
    A long time ago I heard something along the line of: "Keep It Simple, Stupid leads to Leave Out Virtually Everything". What you want to accomplish is: "Keep It Simple, Stupid leads to Let Others View Everything". Sure, Flash and dynamic JavaScript and AJAX and whatever may make your site looks great and all. However, for people who disable JavaSCript or refuses to install flash player just to load your navigation menu may decide your site is not worth it and move along, leaving out virtually everything you have created.



    Of course, all those tips won't do you any good if you don't actually get down and dirty with your web project. Contrary to popular belief, designing a website is more than just a full time job. It requires thinking beyond putting text and images on the web. Most importantly, it requires thinking about your prospective visitor.


    Okay, this has turned more into phylosophy / semi-rant. Maybe I should stop.


    -stndn.


    Edit: The stupid part of KISS is not aimed at anyone, if that's of any concern. It's just what the last S stands for in KISS
     

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