The Seven Habits of Effective Web Sites - HTML with Style | 6 | WebReference

The Seven Habits of Effective Web Sites - HTML with Style | 6


The Seven Habits of Effective Web Sites

What was that about the Olympics again?

The question that begs an answer now is, of course, which of these categories does the Sydney 2000 site fall under? It's a tough call, but I'd say it's trying to be in the first category, but slipping towards the second one. I don't know anybody from IBM who designed the site, but I'll hazard a guess that although the site was designed with information in mind, making it easy for readers to find out anything they want about the games as easily as possible, there was an overwhelming need to impress the client. How can you sell your design when your competitors come up with Flash animations, pop-up windows and fancy graphics?

When someone commissions a Web site, there will obviously be a few requirements set down. If the person or people commissioning this site aren't deeply knowledgeable about the Web, they'll ask for things they think are important, but neglect others that they simply can't know about, like making the pages accessible to blind people. And while trying to please their clients to the best of their abilities, the designers will obviously give a higher priority to the easily visible things like presentation and dynamic gimmicks and put things like accessiblity, compatibility and useability on the back burner.

So do I blame the clients? The answer is that I'm not writing this article in order to assign blame. What I'm looking for is a way to make the Web a better place. But, more to the point, I still haven't answered my original question: What makes a Web site good?

I've already shown that I don't think feature bloat, as seen in multimedia gimmicks and DHTML hacks, make a site good. This does not mean that the presence of these things make a site bad, or that their absence makes a site good. What I'm trying to say is that these are not the things you should judge a site by.

What follows is a few suggestions, for Web developers as well as their clients or prospective clients on how to judge Web sites, and what to ask for when laying down a specification for a Web site, with some justification.


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Produced by Stephanos Piperoglou
Created: September 18, 2000
Revised: September 20, 2000