Published on September 28, 2008
The elements of web design
Duality • Technology • Semester 1 • Design • Semester 2
A basic duality: The Web was originally conceived as a hypertextual information space; 30 March 2000 but the development of increasingly sophisticated front- and back-end technologies has fostered its use as a remote software interface. This dual nature has led to much confusion, as user experience practitioners have attempted to adapt their terminology to cases beyond the scope of its original application. The goal of this document is to define some of these terms within their appropriate contexts, and to clarify the underlying relationships among these various elements. Web as software interface Concrete Completion Web as hypertext system Visual Design: visual treatment of text, Visual Design: graphic treatment of interface elements (the quot;lookquot; in quot;look-and-feelquot;) Visual Design graphic page elements and navigational components Interface Design: as in traditional HCI: Navigation Design: design of interface design of interface elements to facilitate elements to facilitate the user's movement user interaction with functionality Interface Design Navigation Design through the information architecture Information Design: in the Tuftean sense: designing the presentation of information Information Design Information Design: in the Tuftean sense: designing the presentation of information to facilitate understanding to facilitate understanding Interaction Design: development of Interaction Information Information Architecture: structural design time application flows to facilitate user tasks, defining how the user interacts with Design Architecture of the information space to facilitate intuitive access to content site functionality Functional Specifications: quot;feature setquot;: detailed descriptions of functionality the site Functional Content Content Requirements: definition of content elements required in the site must include in order to meet user needs Specifications Requirements in order to meet user needs User Needs: externally derived goals User Needs: externally derived goals for the site; identified through user research, ethno/techno/psychographics, etc. User Needs for the site; identified through user research, ethno/techno/psychographics, etc. Site Objectives: business, creative, or other internally derived goals for the site Site Objectives Site Objectives: business, creative, or other internally derived goals for the site task-oriented Abstract Conception information-oriented This picture is incomplete: The model outlined here does not account for secondary considerations (such as those arising during technical or content development) that may influence decisions during user experience development. Also, this model does not describe a development process, nor does it define roles within a user experience development team. Rather, it seeks to define the key considerations that go into the development of user experience on the Web today. © 2000 Jesse James Garrett http://www.jjg.net/ia/ JJG - elements of web design
JJG - elements of web design
Web as hypertext • Information oriented
Web as software • Task oriented
The surface - visual design • Colour • Typography • Visual elements • Branding ➡ Emotion
Skeleton - layout • Interface design • Navigation design • Information design ➡ Readability ➡ Understandability
Structure • Information Architecture • Interaction Design
Scope - requirements NCE • Functional speciﬁcation • What will it do? • Content requirements • What information does it hold? in which the various features and Just what those features and func-
Just what those features and func- Strategy of the site. Some sites that sell books s to save previously used addresses uestion of whether that feature—or • User needs te is a question of scope. • Who will be using it and why? • Site objectives • Who is creating it and why? ermined by the strategy of the site. nly what the people running the site
Exercise • Get into pairs • Look at exercise 1 on Blackboard
Servers & Browsers • Web Servers • Web Clients • Browsers, RSS readers, other sites • Proxies and Firewalls
HTML • HyperText Markup Language • Structurally describes content •
XML • Data exchange SGML • Description XML HTML • Dynamic RSS 2.0 XHTML formats
(X)HTML <ul id=quot;oParentquot;> <li>Node 1</li> <li id=quot;oNodequot;>Node 2</li> <ul> <li>Child 1</li> <li ID=quot;oChild2quot;>Child 2</li> <li>Child 3</li> </ul> <li>Node 3</li> </ul>
Document Object Model
CSS • Cascading Style Sheets • Separate style from content • Cascade • Inherit
View Source • View Source • View Source • View Source • View Source • View Source • View Source • View Source
Exercise • Get into pairs again • Look at exercise 2 on Blackboard
Exam question • Explain the differences between web sites as hypertext systems or as software applications. What are the key differences between designing for these two different kinds of sites?
Images JJ Garrett, Elements of Web Design Wikimedia, creative commons images ICHC for the image above.
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