CSE 171: User Interface Design: Social and Technical
Basic Webbing Notes
This page contains some personal notes on creating websites, assuming
familiarity with lower level material like basic html and common sense.
See also section 16.6.5 of Shneiderman. Please let me know if you have
further suggestions at this basic level that would improve this page.
- Have confidence! Dont be afraid to look foolish at first while you are
learning - Just do it!
- The first priority is to set clear goals for the site and for each page.
The second priority is to carefully organize the website to meet relevant
goals. This means you have to keep the goals in mind while working.
- Every link should clearly indicate where it is going and why it is there.
- Make good use of subdirectories and index pages; each subdirectory
should have a clear purpose and perhaps an index page reflecting that
- Structuring devices (such as links, titles, lists, blockquotes, size
changes, fonts, and colors) should be used carefully, sparing and
consistently; avoid overusing such devices; avoid loud and distracting colors
and layout (violations of this are one of the clearest signs of a newbie).
Every use of a structuring device should have a clear purpose.
- Layout, titles, backgrounds, etc. should be as consistent as possible
across pages; any differences in conventions for using such devices should
meaningful and consistent. If doing all this seems to get even a little
complex, write an explicit style sheet. Detailed style guidelines are
absolutely necessary for large projects.
- Don't get too cute or too clever - this often irritates users, and is
also likely to be difficult to maintain. One familiar example of irritation
is blinking text; this should not be used unless absolutely necessary.
- Keep things as simple as possible. Avoid clutter.
- Plan ahead for maintenance of your website, since maintenance can
easily become the most difficult and time consuming aspect of the whole
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18 April 1997