What is a good site design?

slooksterPSV

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Apr 17, 2004
3,255
116
Nowheresville
What kinds of designs do you like sites to have? I mean pinpoint some features you like websites to have. Point me to a website that has some of those good features in them. I need an idea. At school we're making websites and I want one that relaxes the eyes and lets you follow where the focus is. I want it to be entertaining too. Any tips, advice, etc. would be great. Thank you in advance - Post 444.
 

brap

macrumors 68000
May 10, 2004
1,701
0
Nottingham
I love this, for the simplicity. Text-based websites that look good are one in a million, but they're usually the easiest and most straightforward to use. I also love the way this site gets so much across without trying. It's all about grouping the data in a sensible, logical manner.

In contrast... this. An abomination. Flash-based websites are sometimes cool, such as this one, but again simplicity is the key. You might think the artsy "try and confuse the user" thing looks great in a website, but trust me - it's just annoying.

I'm sure there's more to add... I'm just too tired now *yawn*. I'll sleep on it.
 

iElvis

macrumors member
Jan 30, 2003
61
0
Wellington, New Zealand
With my own site, I've gone through many different layouts. I know my current version has some weaknesses, but I'm slowly working on those.

Another site I've made is also just a simple site.

Also I've done my best to code both of these using CSS for the layout, and any critisism is more than welcome. Hope this helps give you more ideas.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
123
It completely depends on the content.

If it's information-led, then accessibility, clarity, ease of navigation, quick-loading, etc are all paramount.

If it comes from a different perspective (e.g. artistic) then it may have other priorities. Entertaining, mysterious etc.

Here's a site a friend of mine put together.
http://www.voluntarywork.org.uk/

It's not perfect, by any means, and it's not particularly quick-loading but it fulfills the brief for a small community-based website which other employees with little web-knowledge could update.
 

mintlivedotcom

macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2004
194
0
Here are four sites that I have made in the last few months. Forgive me, because I am new to this.

My Site #1

My Site #2 I can't seem to fix the main page random photos so they aren't so narrow. The box doesn't change widths.

My Site #3

My Site #4

Even though I'm sure this thread topic has come up before, I appreciate it because some people (like me) rarely post and it's good to re-hash ideas sometimes. Please critique away!
 

Josh

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2004
1,640
1
State College, PA
I do love the simplicity of A Small Orange's site.

I also love the look, color scheme, and layout of http://drupal.org. (note: for some reason, the corners of the rounded CSS containers are darker in Safari. IE/Moz displays them perfectly).

I also like www.konfabulator.com for some reason. Good webdesign is like art. Somethings will appeal to others while other things won't.

But I like more simplistic sites, rather than cluttered flash-based IN YOUR FACE!! types...such as www.shiver7.com
 

iGav

macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
9,025
1
Josh said:
Somethings will appeal to others while other things won't.
That's because all design is subjective, if one really wanted to stir one could argue that there is no such thing as 'good' design. ;)
 

kgarner

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2004
1,513
0
Utah
Josh said:
I do love the simplicity of A Small Orange's site.

I also love the look, color scheme, and layout of http://drupal.org. (note: for some reason, the corners of the rounded CSS containers are darker in Safari. IE/Moz displays them perfectly).
It's because the images are PNGs and Safari applies a gamma correction to them that alters the color just a little bit. you can read about the issue
here. If they would have used GIFs the issue would be moot, but they proabably have a more sophisticated alpha channel going on those to get better blending, and then they used a script or something to get IE Win to play nice with them.
 

Yotabyte

macrumors member
Nov 15, 2004
49
0
Perth, Australia.
I'd say stick with a fixed width site (I prefer my fixed width sites centered) with a width of about 750ish so it is compatable to those evil people that don't deserve net connections, the 800x600 dinosaurs. I've made quite a few fixed width sites, and i've had very few problems with them in different browsers. :)
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,032
886
Canada
Yotabyte said:
I'd say stick with a fixed width site (I prefer my fixed width sites centered) with a width of about 750ish so it is compatable to those evil people that don't deserve net connections, the 800x600 dinosaurs. I've made quite a few fixed width sites, and i've had very few problems with them in different browsers. :)
Indeed. When you go above 1024x768 or 1280x1024, websites that use the whole width start to become annoying to read.

After all, newspaper make columns for a good reason: people hate to read long lines.

Having a fixed width website solves that problem (and if your resolution is at least twice the website's width, then by all mean zoom it to 200%. If you're using Opera, the only browser to understand what "Zoom" means).
 

Mike Teezie

macrumors 68020
Nov 20, 2002
2,205
1
Here are two I enjoy. Honestly, I mainly like these site's because I like the company's they represent - especially their demo reels!

:eek:

1

2
 

jeremy.king

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2002
5,478
1
Fuquay Varina, NC
Mechcozmo said:
And then you scroll back and forth reading it.
I interpreted as if he didn't like pages that span the entire width (using width:100% for example) at 1600x1200, for example. Not as sites that are fixed at 1600x1200, that would be just insane.
 

decksnap

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
3,070
70
It's funny how people's ideas of great sites happen to be their own. ;)
No offense, but I think the nickistager.com site posted above is a great example of what not to do from a useability standpoint. Forcing a user to wait for access to buttons while birds fly around, an 'index' page of sorts with no use whatsoever, hard to read type, buttons that don't betray what they do, or even convey 'button'. Admittedly in his case a 'design driven' site is the right choice- but only good up to the point where it starts getting in the way of letting the user see his work.

A good site in my opinion is a balance of functionality, useability and aesthetics, but the priorities among the three can weigh more or less heavily depending on the goal.