I read a Smashing Magazine article about good web design, and it aligned with what I’ve learned is good web design over the past 2 years. It discussed usability, knowing the audience, and clear navigation. I firmly believe that good web design begins with research and a plan. Researching the audience is absolutely necessary to creating a web site that is tailored for who it’s supposed to be designed for. There are a few different ways to understand the audience, and it usually ties in with usability testing. When I researched my audience for my usability testing website, I used a Qualtrics survey to gather both qualitative and quantitative data about who the audience was and what they were looking for. I also like to keep in mind reducing the amount of text on a website, since users typically only scan the text, never reading it. I find copious amounts of white space to be a good way to combat a text-heavy website. The website below uses white space and simple navigation to its advantage.
Clear navigation is another factor that is always difficult for me when designing a website. I always initially create too many navigation categories, and end up having to dramatically reduce the scale of my navigation. I try to keep my navigation tabs to under five categories at the most. I don’t limit my subcategories, because I have to have a trade-off somewhere. Fewer main title navigation categories means my information has to be organized someway, and that usually means multiple subcategories.