- Thou shalt not abuse Flash. The technology can easily be abused—excessive, extemporaneous animations confuse usability and bog down users’ Web browsers.
- Thou shalt not hide content. Advertisements may be necessary for a site’s continued existence, but usability researchers say pop-ups and full-page ads that obscure content hurt functionality—and test a reader’s willingness to revisit.
- Thou shalt not clutter. The Web may be the greatest archive of all time, but sites that lack a coherent structure make it impossible to wade through information.
- Thou shalt not overuse glassy reflections. Some experts say Apple’s habit of creating glassy reflections under photos of its products has been far too commonly copied, turning the style element into a cliche.
- Thou shalt not name your Web 2.0 company with an unnecessary surplus or dearth of vowels. Cases in point: Flickr, Smibs, and Meebo. These names are memorable but destined to sound dated.
- Thou shalt worship at the altar of typography. Designers say that despite the increase in broadband penetration, plain text has gotten a second wind in cutting-edge Web design.
- Thou shalt create immersive experiences. Merely looking good doesn’t cut it anymore. Sites like Facebook and YouTube draw in users with compelling content and functionality.
- Thou shalt be social. Build in elements so users can communicate and interact—not just with you, but with each other.
- Thou shalt embrace proven technologies. Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, and their cohorts have become a part of daily life. Sites that can incorporate these elements into their design will connect with users in a meaningful way by providing functionality they’re already familiar with.
- Thou shalt make content king. Though the slogan is old, it still stands. Aesthetic design can only go so far in making a site successful. Beautiful can’t make up for empty.
The 10 Commandments of Web Design
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