Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Ten Web Design Commandments

And lo, it came to pass that word came to Wendy Cockcroft of the advent of Web 3.0. An angel of the internet came down and declared, "Blessed art thou, Wendy, for thou hast sought out the web design blogs of knowledge of good and evil, and hast partaken thereof. Now take down these ten commandments of web design and development, and go forth into the world and preach them unto the multitudes."

Then did the angel depart, and Wendy came down from the mountain of Web Design and Development, entered the valley of WordPress, then stood she upon a hill to read from the tablets inscribed by the hand of Jeffrey Zeldman, Paul Irish, Ethan Marcotte, and Luke Wrobelowski, the prophets of W3C and web standards.

Then Wendy spake and said,

"These are the commandments of the internet, and by keeping them shall ye be blessed.

1. Thou shalt have no other web standards authority but W3C. Valid shalt thy markup be in accordance with the W3C, that the internet and search engines be with thee all the days of thy website.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thyself a flash-based website except that it be framed in HTML and used sparingly, for the internet will not abide a website that the search engines cannot read, nor users navigate easily, nor is in any way inaccessible to users or to mobile devices.

3. Thou shalt not build websites in vain, for Google will not hold him guiltless who buildeth an ad farm or SEO search bot trap, and will punish violators to the third and fourth pages of the search results, even to the point of removing offending sites altogether.

4. Remember accessibility, and make it a priority. Easy shalt thy website be to navigate, with clear calls to action thereon. Thou shalt use ALT tags on all thine images. Relevant shalt thy link and ALT titles be. Let not clashing colours appear on thy website, nor white text on black backgrounds overmuch, nor Comic Sans text, except that thou use it ironically if thou be a hipster. Thou shalt make a clear distinction between thy links and thy text. Twelve to sixteen pixels shalt thy body text be, and let it stand out clearly against the page background.

5. Thou shalt not clutter, for the viewer will not hold him guiltless who cluttereth a website with flashing gif adverts and an host of competing brightly coloured images.

6. Thou shalt style thy website with CSS3 and not in thine HTML markup, for that is an abomination unto web standards.

7. Thou shalt not use images unnecessarily, nor shall they be irrelevant to thy website's message, nor shall they be poor quality, nor shall they be overlarge, lest they slow page loading time.

8. Thou shalt not use HTML tables for web page layout, for that is an abomination unto web standards, yea, even unto viewers from the year 2000 till this day. Divs shalt thou use, even unto the 960 grid system or variations thereof.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against WordPress, Joomla, or any CMS that thou usest and find difficult.

10. Thou shalt covet thy neighbour's UX and UI, for behold, there are many articles in which there be advice, free vector images and tutorials, that thy days may be long on the websites thou buildest.

Blessed be the prophets of web standards. Amen."

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