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Successful Software

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Effective website design

I'm thinking of redesigning my website (I've just read the excellent "The Non-Designers Design Book". Unfortunately she did not have too much to say about websites but I know a lot of things I can improve already.)  My company name takes up almost a quarter of the screen on my laptop, and noone cares about that, it's not important, so it's going to go.
Does anyone have good examples of a really effective website?  Any blogs or books I should steer towards?  I'm thinking we should be looking at: text body/header contrast, download/buy button placement, ease of information access, screenshot locations.
I'm not too interested in SEO at this point.  That's (comparatively) easier, at least for technical people, which most of us here are.  I'm talking about what makes an effective website regarding human beings!
DanDan Send private email
Saturday, May 18, 2013
 
 
Here is my goto when I'm looking for typography and general design advice:

http://www.kaikkonendesign.fi/typography/section/1

It's aimed at bloggers but I've found that most of the design patterns carry over to any kind of website.
_fernando Send private email
Saturday, May 18, 2013
 
 
That's a great resource!  Good find :)
DanDan Send private email
Saturday, May 18, 2013
 
 
Web sites that actually result in a sustainable business with revenue seem to share that they are considered "badly designed". Examples are Google, Amazon and Craigslist.

The latest fad seems to be the giant titles that take up an entire screen or more, huge fonts, and so much white space that you need a 2560 monitor to read from the left side of a line of text all the way to the right side. Add to this 17MB of javascript and css libraries that have nothing to do with the site but must be downloaded.

Anyway, I recommend having a functional and useful site. Screw fonts and layout. Just don't make the colors hard to read.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, May 19, 2013
 
 
I think google, microsoft and adobe get away with it because they can afford to lose more than a few customers here and there.  Less so for us...every advantage we can find we should take, I think. 
There's some good advice in "Don't make me think" by Steve Krug: "Making pages self-evident is like having good lighting in a store: it just makes everything seem better."
DanDan Send private email
Sunday, May 19, 2013
 
 
Stlll, I see what you're saying.  I'm going to leave it after a quick tidy up rather than obsessing over the entire psychological aspect of it all!
DanDan Send private email
Sunday, May 19, 2013
 
 
Content generally trumps design, but design certainly says a lot about your site.

Here are a few sites/resources I have used over the years with success:
http://sixrevisions.com/
http://webdesignledger.com/
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

If you can afford a web designer, I would highly recommend it. Good design can definitely add to user trust, SEO, mobile views, conversion rates, and overall trustworthyness. Good luck!
Charlie B Send private email
Sunday, May 19, 2013
 
 
That same author, Robin Williams, wrote a web-design-specific book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/non-designers-web-book-robin-williams/1100745245?cm_mmc=googlepla-_-textbook_instock_26to75_pt108-_-q000000633-_-9780321303370&cm_mmca2=pla&ean=9780321303370&isbn=9780321303370&r=1

I thumbed through it at the bookstore and it looked decent. The Non-Designer's Design Book was awesome, so if the web version is anywhere near as good, it's probably pretty good, too.

I personally have not found much else that's very good. I've read several design books and most of them have been crappy. You might want to check out Smashing Magazine, which is pretty good. (Sample: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2012/07/24/one-more-time-typography-is-the-foundation-of-web-design/) They also publish books, although I haven't yet read any of them myself.
Jason Swett Send private email
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
 
 
I used to be a professional UI  Designer and I recently updated my skills for web work. I really liked and recommend Jarrod's Bootstrapping Design: http://bootstrappingdesign.com

It makes a brilliant job collecting the most important design aspects into a fast-to-read package. Even though the sales page does not say it, the book is not on designing web apps, but web pages in general.

I'd also recommend Steve Krug's book, even though it's getting a bit old. But I see you have already read that one.
Jaana Send private email
Thursday, May 23, 2013
 
 

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