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Principles of Effective Web Design

What makes a web site effective? Is it design, verbiage, site architecture, graphics, element arrangement? TBH Creative believes it is a combination of all of these elements. In addition, it is an evaluation of your users and preparing a web site that meets their needs visually with an appropriate display of features, information and functionality.

An article titled "10 principles of effective web design" by Smashing Magazine does a great job discussing principles to effective web sites. I have highlighted the key points below, but encourage you to check out the full article.

Which web site is better?

CommandShift3 is where websites do battle! Want to see a bunch of different web sites, see the best web sites, the worst, get yours evaluated, or vote on others? On CommandShift3, you are presented with the screenshots of two websites side by side. If you click the screenshot of the site you think looks best, the page reloads and you start all over again. It never ends.

Check out this site: http://commandshift3.com/

What is Web 2.0?

Everyday I explain to clients about Web 2.0 and why they should consider these techniques for their design or actually why I recommend Web 2.0 basics for their new web sites. The term Web 2.0 describes the prevailing style of web design or the current school of web design. In one word, Web 2.0 means simplicity.

HTML Email Width - How wide should it be?

This is a tough question because the answer depends on your audience and which email client they use. I build email newsletter for approx. 600 pixels based on past readings, and this topic recently came up again with a potential new client, so I decided to do a little research to see if this is still correct. Found a great article by Christopher Knight that looks into this question deeper and does some comparison (see below). I did some comparison of my own also of email newsletters that I receive (and did not create).

Should my web site be in Flash?

Adobe FlashAn extension on my post yesterday, I thought it might be good to provide some more information. I found this great article(An Evaluation of Flash on web sites. Article by Dimitrios Bendilas.) that gives an overview of what Flash is, problems of bad use, when Flash can be useful to enhance your web site, and explores a good solution for hybrid web sites with Flash pieces and HTML.

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What is Flash? Adobe Flash is the standard for delivering high-impact, rich Web content. Designs, animation, and application user interfaces are deployed immediately across all browsers and platforms, attracting and engaging users with a rich Web experience. Flash allows web professionals to make more impressive and complex graphics with motion, sound and video.

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We recommend not creating your site completely in Flash because it makes updates more difficult, is not good for search engine optimization, and there are simply better ways. For added interest on your web site, Flash can be added in pieces with a combination of other technology including basic HTML and CSS or XML.

If you hire TBH Creative for your web design project, we will sit down with you and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of Flash. It is in our best interest to develop a site that is powerful and effective to keep your business, so we will never recommend Flash for a greater profit. In fact, we typically discourage Flash unless there is value added from it.

An easy way to determine if your web site should be Flash

The Flash wave has hit again. Every few months, multiple clients ask for a Flash web site, and we discuss the pros/cons. As a supporter of search engine optimization (SEO), usability, and accessibility, I try to explain the disadvantages of a full Flash web site and encourage Flash pieces only with purpose.
Below is a funny graphic I found today to answer the question: Should I create a Flash web site?
Source: Google Cache
This was actually posted back in 2006 on Google Cache. The author says "As you can see, it gets pretty complicated, but hopefully you can apply this flash website flowchart the next time you are trying to decide whether or not you should create a flash web site."

Virus Alert! - Tell people you know

With Christmas fast approaching--be alert for an email with virus attachment on print. The subject line will be "UPS Paket NO3089767834" (yes, paket is mis-spelled)
Attention Virus Warning Service Update We have become aware there is a fraudulent email being sent that says it is coming from UPS and leads the reader to believe that a UPS shipment could not be delivered. The reader is advised to open an attachment reportedly containing a waybill for the shipment to be picked up. This email attachment contains a virus. We recommend that you do not open the attachment, but delete the email immediately. UPS may send official notification messages on occasion, but they rarely include attachments. If you receive a notification message that includes an attachment and are in doubt about its authenticity, please contact customerservice@ups.com. Please note that UPS takes its customer relationships very seriously, but cannot take responsibility for the unauthorized actions of third parties. Thank you for your attention.
This virus applied to FedEx also. Snopes confirms that it is real: http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/ups.asp

If you are in need of professional and reliable web site design services in Indianapolis, Indiana, contact TBH Creative.

A great tool for web site browser testing (Litmus)

A colleague of mine told me about the Litmus application a few months ago. It is an application to help make browser compatibility testing for web sites easier. I just came across his note again and am looking forward to trying it out. Has anyone reading this used the software?


What is Litmus? The advanced testing tool for web professionals.

Litmus says: We've felt the pain of getting website designs to work correctly across different browsers. Not to mention designing email newsletters that work on all email clients. Litmus makes compatibility testing easier.

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