Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

Web Site Design - softer topics are important too

By Andrew Pollack on 11/13/2006 at 10:59 AM EST
As someone who reads this site you know how much help I need when it comes to designing attractive, usable web sites. Technically I can make a site do whatever I want. The problem is making it do all the wrong things.

I picked up Steve Krug's book "Don't Make Me Think" to get some perspective on this issue. It's pretty good, and about 90% of what I wanted it to be. The only thing really missing from my perspective is any discussion of color schemes and font choices. I've got that information from other sources, but I think it should be in the book. In all other respects, its a terrific book and you'll see the impact of it's advice on this site in the future. The chapters are focused, concise, short, and well illustrated. They also cover some really solid thinking about how people use web sites and what you can do to make them more effective.

One of the most important pieces of advice I'm taking from Steve, is from page 34 where he discusses the use of 'conventions'. Krug makes the point that conventions may be tedious and boring to develop and not so exciting to look at -- but that's ok because they're helpful and make users more comfortable. As he says, "...praise from peers, awards, and high-profile job offers are rarely based on criteria like 'best use of conventions." I'm guilty as charged here, of reinventing the wheel rather than using a common convention or two.

Time to get busy.

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Web Site Design - softer topics are important tooBy Jens on 11/13/2006 at 05:02 PM EST
.... they even may be very, very useful. Conventions in human communications
does shorten it and makes it more efficient or you may say more dense. Hence,
there is a profit from using them - if they are used in a correct way and not
re: Web Site Design - softer topics are important tooBy Mary Beth Raven on 11/14/2006 at 06:06 PM EST
It is my sincerest professional goal to win a "use of conventions" award from
our Notes 8 customers....

Other Recent Stories...

  1. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism?Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? I read a really insightful post a couple of days ago that suggested the use of social network funding sites like “Go Fund Me” and “Kickstarter” have come about and gained popularity in part because the existing economy in no longer serving its purpose for anyone who isn’t already wealthy. Have the traditional ways to get new ventures funded become closed to all but a few who aren’t already connected to them and so onerous as to make ...... 
  2. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertisingAn increasing number of websites are now detecting when users have ad-blocking enabled, and refuse to show content unless you "whitelist" their site (disable your ad-blocking for them). I think that is a fair decision on their part, it's how they pay for the site. However, if you want me (and many others) to white list your site, there are some rules you should follow. If you violate these rules, I won't whitelist your site, I'll just find content elsewhere. 1. The total space taken up by advertisements ...... 
  3. 12/30/2015Fantastic new series on Syfy called “The Expanse” – for people who love traditional science fiction[] “The Expanse” is a new science fiction series being broadcast onthe Syfy channelthis winter. It’s closely based on a series of books by author James S. A. Corey beginning with “Leviathan Wakes”. There are 5 books in the “Expanse” series so far. If you’re a fan of the novels you’ll appreciate how closely the books are followed.TIP: The first five episodes are already available on If you’re having trouble getting into the characters and plot, use those to get up to speed.The worlds created for ...... 
  4. 10/20/2015My suggestion is to stay away from PayAnywhere(dot)com  
  5. 08/07/2015Here is one for you VMWARE gurus - particularly if you run ESXi without fancy drive arrays 
  6. 08/06/2015The Killer of Orphans (Orphan Documents) 
  7. 06/02/2015Homeopathic Marketing: Traveler on my Android is now calling itself VERSE. Allow me to translate that for the IBM Notes community... 
  8. 03/17/2015A review of British Airways Premium Economy Service – How to destroy customer goodwill all at once 
  9. 02/26/2015There's a bug in how @TextToTime() and @ToTime() process date strings related to international standards and browser settings. 
  10. 01/21/2015Delivering two new presentations at Developer Camp (EntwicklerCamp) 2015 in Germany 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.