Linkage Love (Late)

by Kristen Abell

University Websites Venn

from xkcd – http://xkcd.com/773/

Tis the season in our division to start re-designing websites. And since I generally play an integral part in this process, I’ve been brushing up on my website standards (okay, not really – I pretty much have what I look for in a good website design memorized at this point, but it makes for a better post if I’ve been “brushing up.” Or something.), and I thought I’d share some great resources with other folks looking at web design – either from the design point of view or the client point of view.

And let’s just be clear – if you have a crappy website as a client, it’s as much your fault as it is your designer. Know what you want/need, and make sure you get it. No one blames the web designer (except maybe you).

So, to start, here’s a brief list of ten standards to abide by when re-designing a website. No, copy would not be number one on my list, but it is important. Usability might be one of the top things I can recommend when looking at a website design. Too many people try to use all the bells and whistles or focus on design only. Let me break it down for you – if a student can’t use your website, it doesn’t matter what cool tools you have or how pretty it is – it’s just a bad website at that point.

And speaking of usability, here’s a list of accessibility guidelines for websites that defines some best practices when designing them.

For those who are web designers or will regularly be working on websites, I’m loving the site for A List Apart – lots of great resources and sections on everything from code to usability, from design and content to mobile applications. Seriously good stuff here, people.

If you’re brand new to website design, or websites in general, give Code Academy a try – it’s a fun, interactive way to learn coding. You’ll be learning code before you know it – I promise!

And finally, it can be hard to know what’s good without understanding what a bad page looks like. For this, I highly recommend a gander around Web Pages That Suck – where there is so much suck, I don’t even know where to start. Except with what I think might possibly be the worst web page of all time. I cannot guarantee you’ll ever want to open your eyes again after looking at this site. You have been warned.

So what web design resources do you use when designing or working on websites?

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