Debunking Web Design Myths

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Elliot Jay Stocks' talk at iDesign: Design For Life (part of the London Design Festival)

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Debunking Web Design Myths

  1. 1. Debunking Web Design Myths by Elliot Jay Stocks elliotjaystocks.com/idesign
  2. 2. Usability & Beauty Friends, not enemies The Transparent Creative Process Decent exposure by Elliot Jay Stocks elliotjaystocks.com/idesign
  3. 3. In the red corner
  4. 4. In the red corner Usability Accessibility Web Standards Guidelines
  5. 5. In the In the red corner blue corner vs Usability Accessibility Web Standards Guidelines
  6. 6. In the In the red corner blue corner vs Usability Accessibility Beauty Web Standards Guidelines
  7. 7. Usability As Designers, we’re already experts in this field whether we know it or not.
  8. 8. Usability As Designers, we’re already experts in this field whether we know it or not. • Design is functional art
  9. 9. Usability As Designers, we’re already experts in this field whether we know it or not. • Design is functional art • Design exists to create meaning and understanding
  10. 10. Usability As Designers, we’re already experts in this field whether we know it or not. • Design is functional art • Design exists to create meaning and understanding • In web design (unlike print design), there is no ‘final output’ - usability is influenced by devices
  11. 11. Accessibility “Feared by the bad, loved by the good...”
  12. 12. Accessibility “Feared by the bad, loved by the good...” • Typically associated with catering for disabled users
  13. 13. Accessibility “Feared by the bad, loved by the good...” • Typically associated with catering for disabled users • It goes much further than that: it’s about catering for devices
  14. 14. Accessibility “Feared by the bad, loved by the good...” • Typically associated with catering for disabled users • It goes much further than that: it’s about catering for devices • Devices include search engines ... and we like them!
  15. 15. Web Standards The best thing to happen to the web in recent years
  16. 16. Web Standards The best thing to happen to the web in recent years • Unification through guidelines
  17. 17. Web Standards The best thing to happen to the web in recent years • Unification through guidelines • It’s not about rules and regulations; it’s about attaining a level of quality
  18. 18. Web Standards The best thing to happen to the web in recent years • Unification through guidelines • It’s not about rules and regulations; it’s about attaining a level of quality • Makes life easier for you and your users
  19. 19. Guidelines There are various guidelines
  20. 20. Guidelines There are various guidelines • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, etc.: more specifically tailored for disabled users
  21. 21. Guidelines There are various guidelines • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, etc.: more specifically tailored for disabled users • Guidelines within your own organisation (governmental bodies / style guides)
  22. 22. Guidelines There are various guidelines • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, etc.: more specifically tailored for disabled users • Guidelines within your own organisation (governmental bodies / style guides) • Restriction allows for more creativity!
  23. 23. Under the hood So what’s underneath the design of a web site?
  24. 24. <link rel=quot;stylesheetquot; type=quot;text/cssquot; media=quot;allquot; href=quot;/siteWideAssets/style/styleMain.cssquot; />
  25. 25. Under the hood The fundamental structure of a website hasn’t changed since the early 1990s.
  26. 26. Under the hood The fundamental structure of a website hasn’t changed since the early 1990s. • This is the key to usability and accessibility
  27. 27. Under the hood The fundamental structure of a website hasn’t changed since the early 1990s. • This is the key to usability and accessibility • Everything we need is already there: a great framework!
  28. 28. Under the hood The fundamental structure of a website hasn’t changed since the early 1990s. • This is the key to usability and accessibility • Everything we need is already there: a great framework! • Clean, semantic markup = search engine friendly
  29. 29. Friends... Usability Accessibility Web Standards Guidelines
  30. 30. Friends... ... and lovers Usability Pleasure of use Accessibility Functionality Web Standards A forward-thinking ethos Guidelines Creativity through restraint
  31. 31. Friends... ... and lovers Usability Pleasure of use Accessibility Functionality Web Standards A forward-thinking ethos Guidelines Creativity through restraint = BEAUTY
  32. 32. What about Flash?
  33. 33. What about Flash? • Flash can be accessible but it’s harder
  34. 34. What about Flash? • Flash can be accessible but it’s harder • Flash still has to sit within an HTML page
  35. 35. What about Flash? • Flash can be accessible but it’s harder • Flash still has to sit within an HTML page • Flash-only sites conflict with Web Standards
  36. 36. Accessibility: Making Yourself Accessible
  37. 37. Accessibility: Making Yourself Accessible • Connect with your audience
  38. 38. Accessibility: Making Yourself Accessible • Connect with your audience • Become part of the community, not above it
  39. 39. Accessibility: Making Yourself Accessible • Connect with your audience • Become part of the community, not above it • The internet is all about sharing, so share!
  40. 40. The Carsonified Rebrand We made the creative process of rebranding our company completely ‘transparent’:
  41. 41. The Carsonified Rebrand We made the creative process of rebranding our company completely ‘transparent’: • We wrote about why we were rebranding
  42. 42. The Carsonified Rebrand We made the creative process of rebranding our company completely ‘transparent’: • We wrote about why we were rebranding • We uploaded sketches, videos, etc.
  43. 43. The Carsonified Rebrand We made the creative process of rebranding our company completely ‘transparent’: • We wrote about why we were rebranding • We uploaded sketches, videos, etc. • Readers gave feedback
  44. 44. The Carsonified Rebrand We made the creative process of rebranding our company completely ‘transparent’: • We wrote about why we were rebranding • We uploaded sketches, videos, etc. • Readers gave feedback • We responded to the feedback
  45. 45. The Carsonified Rebrand We made the creative process of rebranding our company completely ‘transparent’: • We wrote about why we were rebranding • We uploaded sketches, videos, etc. • Readers gave feedback • We responded to the feedback • Rinse and repeat!
  46. 46. Has anyone ever heard of...
  47. 47. ?
  48. 48. Has anyone ever heard of...
  49. 49. ?
  50. 50. Good comments On August 24th, 2007 at 1:45 pm, NICK said...
  51. 51. Good comments On August 24th, 2007 at 1:45 pm, NICK said... “The relaunch of MTV’s US site is a great example of how to avoid creating a brand and overall aesthetic that leads to a company being pigeon-holed. They came up with the concept of a site “hat” - a playlist of user- submitted site headers that loaded at random on each refresh of their page. The result is a strong site feel that remains perfectly recognisable as the big daddy of the MTV family, but serves to strengthen the brand by suggesting that their look and appeal is one that wears many hats, caters to all, and still celebrates its userbase; a concept very much in line with your own.”
  52. 52. Bad comments On September 10th, 2007 at 2:46 pm, KARL said...
  53. 53. Bad comments On September 10th, 2007 at 2:46 pm, KARL said... “Is there any way I can get you guys to stop posting this stu? It’s not simply that it’s in front of me, it’s that it exists in the world at all.”
  54. 54. Show Tell It’s just like being back at school!
  55. 55. Show Tell It’s just like being back at school! • Perfect for remote working
  56. 56. Show Tell It’s just like being back at school! • Perfect for remote working • Allows you to quickly assess your ideas
  57. 57. Show Tell It’s just like being back at school! • Perfect for remote working • Allows you to quickly assess your ideas • Enables you to explain your reasoning to anybody
  58. 58. Show Tell It’s just like being back at school! • Perfect for remote working • Allows you to quickly assess your ideas • Enables you to explain your reasoning to anybody • A nice, handy record to look back upon
  59. 59. In Conclusion...
  60. 60. In Conclusion... • The web is a place for the exchange of information, but like a printed catalogue, can - should - look lovely and be a joy to use
  61. 61. In Conclusion... • The web is a place for the exchange of information, but like a printed catalogue, can - should - look lovely and be a joy to use • The actual information exchanged can be an artefact in itself
  62. 62. In Conclusion... • The web is a place for the exchange of information, but like a printed catalogue, can - should - look lovely and be a joy to use • The actual information exchanged can be an artefact in itself • The exchange should happen between designers and users - it's the beauty of the medium
  63. 63. Thank you elliotjaystocks.com/idesign
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