CSE 171: User Interface Design: Social and Technical Issues
Basic Webbing Notes

This page contains some personal notes on creating websites, assuming familiarity with lower level material like basic html and common sense.

  1. Have confidence! Dont be afraid to look foolish at first while you are learning - Just do it!
  2. 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.
  3. Every link should clearly indicate where it is going and why it is there.
  4. Make good use of subdirectories and index pages; each subdirectory should have a clear purpose and perhaps an index page reflecting that purpose.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Keep things as simple as possible. Avoid clutter.
  9. Plan ahead for maintenance of your website, since maintenance can easily become the most difficult and time consuming aspect of the whole project.
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.
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18 April 1997