Siteplanning

Good design reflects in as much in the planning and organizasional components of a site as as in the graphic and information design and content.


We should at the very least consider the following issues when we prepare to build a site:

The look and feel of the site

* Consistency of typography, graphic and colour
* The navigation from point of entry onwards
* Is there a clear exit?

The details of content
is there an exchange of information?
will there be a server-side process (e.commerce etc)

Your choice of ISP.
are there likely to be any security issues?


The intended audience
* -it's profile
* -likely behaviour while browsing
* -it's needs.
* The likely hardware / software of our target audience.


The clients needs and expectations
* How can the success of the site be evaluated?
* Sales, hits, comments, requests etc
* How expandable is the site
* Has future expansion or rebuilding been planned for in the site?
* How will the site be promoted?
* Is the look of the promotion complimentary to the site
* How often is the site updated?
* Who is responsible for maintenance of the site
* Where will the updated content be comming from (who is responsible)

Websites
There are many useful resources on webdesign available on the web. You can try the following sites:
http://www.coolhomepages.com/
Great site with links to many sites chosen as examples of good or indifferent design. Allows you to vote for your favourite site. Good for design ideas.
www.valcasey.com/webdesign/
Very good site, with many examples of good (and not so good) visual design
http://www.shire.net/learnwebdesign/design.htm
Online course in web design. Has some useful hints and tips about visual design
http://www.webreference.com/dlab/
Dmitry Kirsanov’s design lab. Good hints and tips on graphics and visual design
http://www.webreference.com/dlab/9710/index.html
Also from Dmitry Kirsanov. Takes the development of a site from a blank sheet of paper to a finished site, with discussions of why he made all the design decisions he made
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000723.html
Jakob Nielsen decrees that content design and information architecture should replace visual design
http://www.med.yale.edu/caim/manual/pages/page_design.html
A graphic design style manual used by Yale University. Contains a good discussion of web page design principles
http://www.sun.com/980113/sunonnet/
Jakob Nielsen’s description of how they redesigned the Sun Microsystems website (dated 1998)
http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/design/site_building/tutorials/tutorial1.html
Although this article is about information architecture, it has a section on visual design
http://webword.com/interviews/weinman.html

An interview with Lynda Weinman, a well-respected graphic designer and textbook author
http://www.wpdfd.com/editorial/wpd1201.htm
Interesting discussion of various kinds of graphical menu bars for navigation
http://www.grantasticdesigns.com/printweb.html
Comparison of graphics print versus web page design
http://www.coolhomepages.com/cgi-bin/reg/top10.cgi?orderby=mostpopular
Listing of the 30 most popular websites where you can vote for your favourite site. Good for examples of visual design
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Books
The Non-Designer's Web Book (2nd Edition), Robin Williams, John Tollett, Peachpit Press; ISBN: 0201710382; 2nd edition (September 8, 2000)

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, Steve Krug, Roger Black, Que; ISBN: 0789723107; 1st edition (October 13, 2000)

Designing Web Graphics.3 (3rd Edition), Lynda Weinman, New Riders Publishing; ISBN: 1562059491; 3rd edition (April 1999)

Effective Web Design, Ann Navarro, Sybex; ISBN: 0782128491; Book & Cd edition (April 2001)

Robin Williams Web Design Workshop, Robin Williams, John Tollett, Dave Rohr, David Rohr, Peachpit Press; ISBN: 0201748673; 1st edition (July 25, 2001)

Www.Layout: Effective Design and Layout for the World Wide Web, Jerry Glenwright, Watson-Guptill Pubns; ISBN: 0823058581; (May 2001)

Creating Killer Web Sites (2nd Edition), David Siegel, Hayden Books; ISBN: 1568304331; 2nd edition (September 18, 1997)