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:
- Anything that exists only to satisfy the internal politics of the site owner must be eliminated.
- Anything that exists only to satisfy the ego of the designer must be eliminated.
- Anything that is irrelevant within the context of the page must be eliminated.
- Any feature or technique that reduces the visitor’s ability to navigate freely must be reworked or eliminated.
- Any interactive object that forces the visitor to guess its meaning must be reworked or eliminated.
- No software, apart from the browser itself, must be required to get the site to work correctly.
- Content must be readable first, printable second, downloadable third.
- Usability must never be sacrificed for the sake of a style guide.
- 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.
- 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.