Web dogma ’06

May 31st, 2006

Boxes and Arrows interviews Eric Reiss on Web dogma ’06 – his 10 web design principles.

I wanted to quote one, but they’re all so brilliant, so in tune with what I feel, that here they all are:

  1. Anything that exists only to satisfy the internal politics of the site owner must be eliminated.
  2. Anything that exists only to satisfy the ego of the designer must be eliminated.
  3. Anything that is irrelevant within the context of the page must be eliminated.
  4. Any feature or technique that reduces the visitor’s ability to navigate freely must be reworked or eliminated.
  5. Any interactive object that forces the visitor to guess its meaning must be reworked or eliminated.
  6. No software, apart from the browser itself, must be required to get the site to work correctly.
  7. Content must be readable first, printable second, downloadable third.
  8. Usability must never be sacrificed for the sake of a style guide.
  9. No visitor must be forced to register or surrender personal data unless the site owner is unable to provide a service or complete a transaction without it.
  10. Break any of these rules sooner than do anything outright barbarous.

If the intro’s a bit wordy, skip it. But the interview is worth a read. I love his comparison with Strunk and White. Most web sites need a visit to the lipo clinic.

We go on and on about folksonomies and Web 2.0, but the truth is we didn’t even really get Web 1.0 very good. There are a lot of sites that just don’t work. And there are a lot of sites that work surprisingly well despite being put together by the neighbor’s kid. It’s wrong of us to be so elitist.

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