Monthly Archives: September 2014

Designing History III: Plan of Attack

“The whole goal of design, for the web or otherwise, is devising and implementing a concept or solution for a specific problem. If you do not have a concept–if you choose images, colors, fonts, et cetera with no reason–you’re decorating, not designing.” Says Jeremy Boggs in http://clioweb.org/2008/06/04/part-three-design-process/. Brian Miller in his book http://abovethefoldbook.com/above-the-fold/about-the-author/ says “This book looks at web design as a form of graphic communication-“

After reading what Boggs and Miller had to say about web design I realized how much work and thinking should go into designing a web site. Over the past couple of weeks I have blogged about Web Usability and Data Presentation. What seems to be the common theme in all of these processes is that when we are designing a web site we must know who our target audience are, and everything else should revolve around them. After all the ultimate goal of any website whether a simple blog site or a retail shopping site is for people to visit and be able to use it and get the information that they need from it. So if a site is designed based on personal preferences with no research it probably will not be able to convey the intended message. Once we know who we are designing for the next important step is to know exactly what is it that we are trying to convey to them. In other words if I am designing a web site what do I want others to get from it! Only then the actual designing can start.

When I first started this blog I just picked the first random theme with my favorite color and without doing too much customization I started writing. But after reading about usability, presentation, and design by different authors (The authors names are in my previous blogs) I started to make major changes. I went through each option in the setting and customization and tried different options. The theme that I had chosen before was a blue background that I felt like it was not an appropriate color I felt like it took the attention away from the content. I changed the layout, the sidebar was on the left of the blogs and since most web sites have them on the right I changed it so when someone visits my blog they don’t have to look elsewhere from what they are used to, so by doing that hopefully I avoided making them think! The sidebar contained a section that listed my four recent blogs which I thought it was redundant since the archive can be used to get my older blogs as well as the category. I also utilized the “ABOUT” section of my blog which was empty before if you go there you will see. And finally the theme that I chose I think has the right picture for the purpose of this blog and it complements the title well. Also the white on black background makes the content to stand out not the background color.

So by putting myself in your place as someone who will read these blogs and applying different design and usability principles that I have learned so far I think I have improved my site. “A significant investment in brainstorming and research during the design process helps produce great results far more often than without.” Says Boggs, I don’t think I have a “great” site yet but I do think by investing some time and going through different options and settings I have made a better site. I’m looking forward to your comments about what else you think needs improvement so I can make this a “great” site!

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