Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

10 Things to make or break your website

AUblog lists 10 Things that will make or break your website. And I think they’re well worth the read.

The comments on that post debate point #2 (Visual design and copy are extremely important) and I side with the author completely, although I can’t say I have always been diligent enough to start with the design and dev later. But this is my ideal.

I think the perfect middle ground is an “extreme-programming-style” approach where the designer works with the programmer from the start so that the design, the UI, the interactivity, the ajax stuff and the back-end all evolve together. Because the reality is that for anything but the simplest project, things just evolve. You never get it right first time. You never foresee all the details of what will need to be in the end product. So its iterative and that means “deep interaction” between the designer, the front end UI dev and the back-end programmers. There is no other way.

Another observation I make is that today’s really great web designers need to accept that Web 2.0 means something for them. It means thinking deeply about the UI and the experience for the user… and realising that designers aren’t creating “static interfaces” any more, and that ajax (and DHTML widgets and things, generally) have given us, as designers, a different kind of world to work in, and much richer UI possibilities.

Ergo, the best designers are totally on top of what a new Web 2.0-style UI can look like, and are working for the start with the back-end programmer/s to make the most of it, and (from the start) to create a rich user experience. To me, this is not possible if the designer has not taken a good deal of time to deeply understand what this “new world” is all about, and does not – in practice – work very closely with programmers.

I think this is what we are learning from the Ruby on Rails “thing”… where a new and more elegant/exciting pairing of client (browser) and server interop has demanded, at the same time, a closer interop of designer and programmer.

And so the challenge, I think, in this Web 2.0 world we’re now living in, is to get designers and devs to work better together. Partly because on anything more than a small project they’re not going to be the same person (or sitting side-by-side, necessarily) and because in this age of mega-specialisation, they WILL be different people – very often people who are wired differently and get on each others nerves a lot!

That’s another post for another time… how designers (right-brain aesthetic creatives) and programmers (left-brain linear creatives) can better work together… I have had some fun lately in this regard. Hint: don’t get right-brainers testing, and don’t get left-brainers making UI decisions. More on that another day!

Here endeth today’s stream-of-consciousness post and life in a web shop.

web 2.0, web design, web development, the creative process, websites

2 Comments

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  1. Posted 11 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    Thanks for the link. By the way, love your blog–design, everything. I’m a Web development manager at In Touch Ministries in the US, so it’s always nice to find other Web developers with ministry mindset.

    All the best.

  2. Alister
    Posted 11 years ago // Permalink

    Thanks for the kind words, Jamie.

    I am guessing I have changed my look since you commented here. This new look is one I will continue to “make my own” as time goes by. It’s clean and works well for SEO and a little “monetization”…

    – Alister

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