Web Design Goodies Critique #1

By Joe Burns

Web Design Goodies Critique #1

Published September 13, 2000 By Joe Burns, Ph.D.

Greetings, Fellow Designers

First off, thank you for signing up for this, the newest HTML Goodies newsletter. The concept of this newsletter is to start a discussion about Web site design.

Site design is something that often takes a back seat to coding. When I teach HTML in a classroom, students are far too quick to jump right into coding without first designing what the code is suppose to do. They dont first take the time to determine their sites killer app. Thats a term youll hear me use a great deal. It represents the purpose of the site. A site without purpose just never seems to do well. The newsletters that follow this one wont have nearly this much text at the top. I intend to get right into the critique. After all, thats why you signed up for the newsletter, isnt it?

This newsletter, and subsequent issues, will follow a format that I devised for my book Web Design Goodies. Ill offer praise, raise concerns, and make suggestions for each page that I review. I feel the format is solid and offers praise, concern, and suggestion. Each week, I will note five concerns about the site I look at. Of course, being the critical jerk that I am, I can always find more than five; I just dont want to continue repeating myself week after week. By only offering five each week, I can stick to format. Plus, you wont get bored as quickly.

Since the newsletter is a static document (meaning that once its written and sent out it cant be updated,) I have made a point of grabbing screen captures if I want to point anything specific out. Youll find the URL to a copy the newsletter with the screen capture in the appropriate places down in the critique. The reason is that once the owner of the site goes in and fixes the design flaw I point out, you cant see it. The screen capture will save it for all eternity, or until EarthWeb erases it from the server.

So enjoy. I offer these critiques in a spirit of helpfulness, not as a weekly chiding of a newsletter reader. And, as always (youll see this at the top of each newsletter):

>>>>The critique below represents the opinions of Joe Burns, Ph.D. Feel free to disagree, argue, forget, or accept anything he writes. The purpose of the critique is to offer examples that you may use, improve upon, or forget when it comes to working on your own Web site. As always, remember that there are simply no hard and fast rules to Web design. Any choice is the correct choice, as long as that choice aids the user and fulfills the sites purpose.<<<<

Lets do one, shall we?

Title: Kaptains Page? / Author: Kris Williams http://www4.50megs.com/kaptain/ Load Time: 27 Seconds, 57kps modem, cleared cache, 6/26/00 9:37AM. My Screen Size: 1024X768 Browsers Used: Internet Explorer 5 and Netscape Navigator 4.5

Design Image

Concept: Welcome to Kaptains page. I liked the site for the first critique because, like a lot of pages on the Web, its a personal site that obviously has a gung ho person behind it. The basic concept is that the Kaptain (Kris Williams) is sick of search engines not offering reviews of the sites they list. Kris says he will go to sites, look at them, and list them at his site with a short review. Good idea. There are many successful sites already on the Web that are doing just that. Kris may be onto something here.

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