The Importance of Design
If design is so important, how should we go about it? This introduction is intended to help you take a structured approach to the design of your site, and maybe make life easier as you revisit some aspects of your earlier work. This is a process I go through all the time with my own sites. The more you do, the more you realize the benefits of good design work.
I used the analogy of a house design a moment ago; there are some good parallels to be drawn between these two types of design. The design of a house involves not only the appearance of the finished house, but also the material of which it is made, the manor in which the material is used (sorry, I can never resist a good pun!), the time and expense required to put it together, the ease of access and the usability of its rooms and the building's durability and maintainability. A website design involves the look and feel of the site, the languages and server resources it will use, the programming and data structures involved, the time and programming abilities needed, end-user ease of use and site maintenance. Design a house, design a website. Same thing -- almost <G>!!
I hope I have convinced you of the importance of taking a little extra time in the design stage of your development work. "A stitch in time saves nine," my Grandma used to say. And the web wasn't even around then!
The next parts of this series will take you through the conceptual details of the design elements mentioned in the first paragraph. Your chances of creating an attractive, interesting and easily maintained website are much higher if you read through these design tips, and bear their considerations in mind as you proceed with your design.
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