web| Design | problems
1.8 Balance of form and function
The key problem with Web site design is the balance of form and function. Under the influence of modernism, many designers insist that the form of things should conform to its function. Considering that form is one of the foundations of the Web pyramid, functionality is one of the other foundations. The bad form of the function is boring. The site might run well, but not inspire the user. Conversely, if the form is expressive and the functionality is limited, users will be disappointed. A clear and continuous relationship is required between form and function. Simply put, the form of the site should be directly related to its intention, if the site is commercial, it may look very gorgeous, and have a considerable amount of multimedia content, if these content can help achieve our goals. On the contrary, if the site is simple, such as online banking, it may be more focused on practical forms. Of course, to determine the appropriate form of the site, requires a clear definition of the site's functionality. Unfortunately, the final functionality of most Web sites is not well understood, and the form and functionality of the site are not clearly linked.
The contradictions of form (art) and function (technology) may persist, although the designer's only position is to design for the user. form and function do not necessarily contradict each other. For most of the time, they are complementary. A good design will make the site function better, however, too many features will cause a lack of look and feel. Consider widely accessed portals such as Ya H o O!, e x c i t e or other large ecommerce web sites. These sites all have their commonalities, a particular look, but none of the sites will be dependent on a single aspect of appearance or technology. However, some designers, regardless of the importance of balance, think that the graphical user interface principles used in the Web are too constrained to create creative and commercial strategies. If all the sites are working together, how can you remember a site and help build the company's brand? The most critical consistency in usability is relegated to the market context. For commercial reasons, designers want to create differences between different sites-inconsistencies are the market means to arouse attention. However, what should be the difference? Consider a real clothing store: Should the luggage racks, door handles, cash registers or fitting rooms be different from other stores, or should they focus on the differences in the clothes themselves? Although every part of the store will deepen the impression of the store, the answer is still clear, and the difference in clothes is the key. The web is exactly the same and should not focus on small pieces of the graphical user interface-they are just interfaces, and should focus on content and tasks. In most cases, however, the designer attempts to build the site's brand through an unusual interface.
Rule: Do not use the interface to build a brand.
It is impossible to create a brand with buttons, given that users will visit dozens of, hundreds of, or even thousands of sites in a year. How could they remember the shape, color, or movement of the button? Users visit the site not to pay tribute to the button you designed, but to achieve the user's purpose. Web design should not ignore this fact.
1.9 What is a good web design?
Even if we agree that the development of a site requires a lot of talent and depends on the balance of form, function, content, and goal, it is difficult to properly point out what good web design is. If you believe that four aspects of web design are inconsistent, it's easy to think that the right design will vary from project to individual, which is common sense. In software development, the challenges of designing video games are very different from the challenges that are encountered in designing client/server applications. This will not change abruptly because of the web. In order to support a well-known brand and design site, and the design of the intranet is also very different. Many people, regardless of the obvious facts, look for guidance on how to build "cool" sites and apply them blindly. Although these ideas are correct for a subset of the sites, it is clear that not all sites face the same problem. For a site is very "cool" or "smart" idea, may be another site is an absolute disaster. A good example is the Splash page, shown in Figure 1-8, which is used to describe the first page of a Web site. "Fly out" is used to set the tone of the site, often have a lot of interesting animation, used to remind users of the site needs what technical support. More interestingly, in most cases, "fly out page" can be used to entice users to visit the site. On the other hand, it's also easy to become an obstacle. For example, in an engineer-related site, the use of "fly out" will cause one-fourth of people to leave the site when the "Fly out" page has not yet been opened. When communicating with users about why they're out of the site, the results show that "flying out of the page" is a handicap and annoying for people eager to find information, all they need is a few simple clickable pages. In this case, the "Fly out page" is very dangerous to use. However, for those who want to entertain, "flying out of the page" has a great temptation, will constitute a wonderful experience. Some entertainment sites, if not "flying out of the page", will be like a movie without prologue, will be very incomplete. This simple example shows the most dangerous aspect of web design, for example, that a good web design exists only in a single form. Rule: There is no "right" web design that conforms to all sites.
What do we do? Can we say that web design has no absolute principle? This is almost impossible, but if you follow the principles of web design as absolute things, you will always be confused and disappointed. For example, "Never use a frame" or "Be sure to keep the page size 5 0 K B" is basically harmless. But if the motives of these words are not carefully understood, the designers are doomed to misunderstand. Consider the rule of thumb for a page size of 5 0 K B, which is recommended because of the web's access speed. Users often complain that the download speed of the site is too long, this situation for the use of modems to access a large number of graphics users of the site is the truth, but for the corporate intranet is also established? Or for those who have a dedicated line or other high-speed network equipment is still set up? Of course not. However, despite this observation, it is common to design principles such as reducing graphic colors or dividing large images into chunks in a high-speed network environment. Rules are good, but it is better to understand the motives of the rules before applying them. Be sure to try to understand the motives behind the rules rather than blindly applying them. This is better for you when you find that many of the rules themselves contradict each other.
Evaluation of Web sites
It is difficult to describe exactly what a good web design is, but it is not difficult to point out what the design is bad. Many sites and books describe what a bad design is. The problem with this approach is that, although it points out what should not be done, it does not answer more difficult questions like "What should you do?" Most poor designs are known to all, such as slow pages, misuse of graphics, excessive animation, site construction, confusing links, colorful backgrounds, hard to read text, slow download speeds, and more. It's important to say in the discussion what not to do, but spending a lot of time talking about bad design is not going to be very rewarding, especially given that no one will artificially design the "worst taste" site. Many of the sites ' evaluations look hotter and make comments like "designers lack the right judgment and lose the good taste," rather than correcting them in a positive way.
When evaluating a Web site, consider an upside-down web design process that, in a sense, can be called a "upstream waterfall model". First Test the implementation of the site, what about the release of the site? is H T M l normal? Are all images preserved properly? Does the script work correctly? Then consider the appearance and navigation design, do you understand the navigation system? Is there a broken link body? Is it easy to find the information you need on the site? Then consider why you want to design the Web site, and who are their clients? What is the goal of the site? What kind of users will use these sites? What are the goals of these users? Do you follow your design plan upstream? Is the appearance design reasonable? What about the navigation system? Also consider whether the user site is running reasonably. Site evaluation should be carried out frequently, only serious study of various aspects of the problem, in order to form a basic point of view. A detailed discussion of the site assessment will be given in Appendix B. When the designer has to constantly evaluate the site, remember that the designer is not a user. We need to get feedback from the user and use it to validate and correct our views.
1.10 Exploring web Design
What is the exact web design? This is a user-centric multidisciplinary design that is influenced by a wide range of visual arts, technologies, content, and intentions. The intention even includes economic considerations, such as the site's interest cost rate. Because web design is multidisciplinary, it is usually appropriate to explore theories and ideas from the corresponding disciplines. In fact, in the first few chapters of this book, that's what we do. However, some people look at these methods too proprietary, and end up keen on the "crazy Metaphor" of a web. Depending on the experience or the most familiar communication media that the designer has before working on the web, the designer attempts to move a media rule to another medium, such as "web-like print" or "web and software extremely similar". Although the web does borrow a lot of knowledge from other disciplines, there are significant differences. In fact, there are many differences between web and print because it provides more functionality, which is similar to software. However, the issue of site publishing and more attention to content, but also make it with the traditional software has a greater difference.
Of course the subject of the web is still very young, and we cannot say that the media is completely different. There are a lot of people involved in the work, they think the web is very revolutionary, the old rules of the past can not continue to apply, this is nonsense. Even if we do not refer to the views of the scholarly family, we know that any new media in history will certainly borrow the old rules from other fields when they create their own rules. Further, there is no new media that can completely eliminate other media. Radios, magazines, television and so on continue to exist, and will not disappear because of new technologies and media. The web, of course, is not a new medium that lets us discard all of our previous value systems, but it does have its own rules. We should try to understand the design concepts of other media and revise them to fit the web.
1. 11 What you see is what you want
Other design principles need to be rewritten for integrated absorption. For a graphical user interface, this principle is "WYSIWYG". The designers put a lot of effort into making sure that what they see on the screen is what they will get. But for the web, this is not a good slogan. First of all, it is not appropriate to transfer everything on the screen to the paper accurately. In some cases, the screen is intended to be more simple than the output of the printer. Users do not want everything to be displayed exactly on the screen. Second, web users are very keen to control their Web experience. Instead of just "being given" other experiences, users often want to form their own experiences. The personalization of Web sites is the main manifestation of their ideas. Even if users are receiving a controlled or shared experience, they certainly don't want to feel that way. Users need to have an experience of their own to control the Web. There is nothing more frustrating than being forced to choose a path when a user wants to guide his or her behavior. The overall experience of the web is in the hands of the designer, but when you visit the site, make sure that the user feels that they are guiding their behavior. This results in the following Web design rules.
Rule: control should give or at least appear to be given to the user.
The final design guidelines point to the tension between the user and the designer in controlling the power. Designers may need to control the situation, but users should be treated as partners. Even if the visitor's experience is certain, it should not be made known to the user. Most of the time, control should be handed over to the user. In fact, the sheer amount of information on the Web ensures user control. Today's users are no longer limited to the interactive information on the mass-produced C d-r O m, instead, users can easily find their unclear topics on the web and find a lot of relevant sites. Because of the emphasis on the user's intention, the slogan "WYSIWYG" should be modified as follows: slogan: What you see is what you think (w y S I w y).
"What you see is what you think" is a user-centric slogan that allows users to choose the content and manner they want. If a user wants to see a site about a cellular phone, there is a site like this. If he wants to print this site, there is no problem. If he wants to search through the engine or navigate directly, it's up to them. Many user-driven sites have clearly adhered to the "what you see" principle. The main problem with this principle is the lack of an acronym for easy pronunciation. Aside from the adoption of precise concepts, there is no guarantee that even the basic ideas behind "What you see is what you think" will still be important in future web design. The web is not going to stay the same, and innovation usually happens at a very fast rate. As time has changed, the principles presented in this book will be challenged when they become too restrictive or unsuitable for future web environments.
Web design is a multi-disciplinary problem consisting mainly of four parts: content, form, function, and goal. However, the exact combination of these parts varies by project and varies from person to person. Good web design is hard to define. Other areas have many things to learn from, especially the traditional print design and graphic interface design. However, it is also problematic to draw lessons from other fields, as the Web is a stand-alone medium. The ambiguity of the media, the unpredictable publishing environment and the extreme variability of social and technological sensitivities make the work on such media challenging. However, if the designer must put the user in mind, many serious design errors can be avoided. Further, designers should consider the limitations of the media and the new rules that arise, regardless of what the user thinks they want. While the development process is challenging, following basic web development methodologies can be a big help. The next chapter will describe the basic processes that the development site should follow.