A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Web Design

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User experience design is a subset of the field of experience design which pertains to the creation of the architecture and interaction models which impact a user's perception of a device or system. The scope of the field is directed at affecting 'all aspects of the user’s interaction with the product: how it is perceived, learned, and used.'



Case Study: Foruse.com Redesign

www.foruse.com is the web site of Constantine and Lockwood. Have a look at their home page to learn more about them. This case study incorporates a brief critical review of the home page, plus a redesign.

Hunt, Ben. Web Design From Scratch (2005). Design>Web Design>Redesign>Case Studies


Case Study: Getting Hardboiled with CSS3 2D Transforms

In this example we’ll use CSS3 two-dimensional transforms to add realism to a row of hardboiled private detectives’ business cards.

Clarke, Andy. Typekit Blog (2011). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>CSS


Case Study: National Park Foundation Micro Site

Modernista! teamed up with FL2 to design and develop a micro site for the National Park Foundation that coincided with Modernista!’s broadcast campaign supporting the Ken Burns PBS documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The site provides a destination for users to explore the National Parks, make a personal contribution, and most importantly share it with others—reinforcing the sense of collective ownership, pride and responsibility of our National Parks System.

Brady, Tracy and Matt FaJohn. AIGA (2009). Articles>Web Design>Interaction Design>Case Studies


Case Study: NPR.org

NPR embarked on a major redesign of its web presence in April 2008. Its existing web platform and content management system (CMS) were outdated (it had been six years since our last redesign) and failed to provide the functionality for delivery of NPR’s signature storytelling and news reporting. This NPR.org redesign team consisted of roughly 30 people: designers, developers, project and product managers and editorial producers.

Neylan, Callie. AIGA (2009). Articles>Web Design>Case Studies


Casing the Competition

Welcome to the murky world of search engine optimization (SEO). Before you throw your hands up in frustration, I have good news for you: You can learn how to reverse-engineer your archrivals' tactics and join them at the top of the search results heap.

Spencer, Stephan. GotoMedia (2005). Design>Web Design>Search>Search Engine Optimization


Caught in the Web: An Intranet Adventure   (PDF)

As the World Wide Web rapidly evolves, as philosophies for designing online documents change, and as technologies grow ever more sophisticated the technical communicator is presented with many challenges. What are the most eflective methods for structuring, authoring and maintaining online documents? What are the best tools and formats to use for the construction of a documentation Web site? What kinds of technical decisions must the designer or writer make? HTML or PDF? GIF or JPEG? Can several text and graphics formats be combined into one seamless site? What about hypertext links - how many is too many? What is the best approach to building a prototype? Presenting it to users? Selling it to management? Many lessons can be learned before embarking on the journey. , .

Cluff, Susan C. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Web Design>Intranets


The Cautious Writer, 2005: Protect Your Income

I'm no expert on the economy, but I don’t see a lot of signs of growth and smiling faces in 2005. As writers, we are in the fortunate position of being able to protect ourselves against fluctuations in the economy, to some degree. To protect your own income over the next year, here are some suggestions.

Usborne, Nick. Excess Voice (2004). Articles>Web Design>Writing


Celebrating Holidays and Special Occasions on Websites

Even small holiday decorations can increase joy of use and make websites feel more current and more connected to users' lives and physical environment. The key is to commemorate without detracting from your users' main reasons for visiting the site.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2002). Articles>Web Design>Usability


A Center for Research in Technical Communication: Initial Ideas and Development for a Worldwide Network

The technical communication field lacks a place for on-line research in the historical, theoretical, and philosophical perspectives. For this reason, the idea of a Technical Communication Research Center was proposed as a way to help move the emphasis off of pedagogical and towards a more evenly balanced web site for technical communication research. Other sites are currently available for on-line research in technical communication, but not everything fits into the academic genre. We have found a market for a comprehensive research site in technical communication. The end product of TCRC will be devoted to both academics and professionals interested in both old and new research in their area of interest. Besides merely a research tool, the TCRC will also be a network for those working in the field. Through databases, email and periodical updates, the ultimate result of the end product is to connect technical communicators all over the world.

Arko, Kirsti, Leroy Steinbacher, John Velat and Dennis Walikainen. Michigan Tech University. Articles>Information Design>Web Design


The Challenges of Internet Users with Low or Limited Vision

Once or twice while surfing the Net, you may have felt your eyesight become blurred or find it hard to focus on the screen. This is normally not a problem as you can always rest for a while to regain your perfect vision. But try to imagine yourself having limited vision all the time. What do you think are the challenges you may face as you browse web pages? How can they be solved?

Babinszki, Tom. Even Grounds (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Visual


Challenging Current Practice

Is it better to have more items on a page and requiring fewer pages to be accessed (wide breadth), or to have fewer items per page and require more pages to be accessed (more depth)? Based primarily on studies reported three years ago by Larson and Czerwinski (1998) and Zaphiris and Mtei (1998), designers have been encouraged to construct broad, shallow sites.

Bailey, Robert. Human Factors International (2001). Design>Information Design>Web Design


Challenging the Status Quo: Audi Redesigned

In September 2000, Razorfish, Germany was tasked to redesign the main websites for Audi. In the process they explored workgroup software, utilized technology to support the brand ideals and challenged the status quo of current web navigation thinking by proposing a right handed navigation system.

Kalbach, James. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Design>Web Design>Case Studies


Change the Color of Visited Links

People get lost and move in circles when websites use the same link color for visited and new destinations. To reduce navigational confusion, select different colors for the two types of links.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2004). Design>Web Design>Usability>Color


Change the Constraint, Change the Guidelines

From a usability perspective are we letting inertia stop us from going and searching for the real new issues which constrain web sites from achieving their goal, or are we moving on, forgetting the last war, and actively out looking for that new constraint and seeking to write the new rules for a world where broadband is ubiquitous?

Anderson, David J. UIdesign (2004). Design>Web Design>Usability


Change Up Your Digital Writing

I was inspired today by an article on opensource.com about the pathetic state of web design and development education in secondary and post-secondary schools, which is itself a summary of a presentation (video) at Mozilla’s Drumbeat Festival by Anna Debenham, a young web developer in the UK. But rather than issue a series of what-she-saids regarding Ms. Debenham’s presentation, I’m writing a post that is a first attempt at a condensed whole-hog, no-baby-steps list of concrete moves and classes of technologies that I believe are essential to changing how you write and design digitally, by which I mean “for the Web.”

source.literacy (2010). Articles>Education>Web Design


Change vs. Stability in Web Usability Guidelines

A remarkable 80% of findings from the Web usability studies in the 1990s continue to hold today.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2007). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Standards


Changing Terminology: "User" versus "Customer"

The term "user" has also been critiqued because it obscures the fact that people use software and web sites in different ways. Sometimes the "user" is a customer, sometimes a contributor, sometimes an employee, sometimes a learner. In many cases, one of these words would be more accurate than the catch-all "user."

Ruby, Jennie. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2009). Articles>Web Design>Social Networking>User Centered Design


Character Entities in HTML and XHTML

This area includes a variety of references and tools such as: reference charts; important articles; and helpful tools.

Web Standards Project. Design>Web Design>Standards>HTML


Characteristics of Web Site Content

Web site content must be recrudescent, repositorial, refluent, and rectilinear. What? Here's an innovative treatment of the essential attributes of online text. Find out why great web site content generally has these 14 characteristics that start with a "R".

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2005). Articles>Web Design>Content Management>Usability


Characterizing Audience for Informational Web Site Design   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Presents a sample of audience analysis results and discusses how they were used to make design decisions. Reflects on the strategy, the insights gained from the data, and the impact of the results on the subject Web site.

Turns, Jennifer and Tracey S. Wagner. Technical Communication Online (2004). Articles>Web Design>Audience Analysis


Characterizing Web Heuristics   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article is intended to make Web designers more aware of the qualities of heuristics by presenting a framework for analyzing the characteristics of heuristics. The framework is meant to support Web designers in choosing among alternative heuristics. We hope that better knowledge of the backgrounds, potentials, and limitations of heuristics will contribute to the professional expertise in the field. Our second goal is to make those who develop and present heuristics more aware of the information their users need. Thus, we try to increase the usability of heuristics.

de Jong, Menno D.T. and Thea van der Geest. Technical Communication Online (2000). Design>Web Design>Assessment>Usability


Charities: a Business Case for Web Accessibility

The most obvious benefit of web accessibility is the freedom and equality it gives to disabled users online. In the UK 8.5 million consumers have some kind of mental or physical disability. Any charity wanting to maximise their income is missing a huge gap in the market if they are excluding these users from their fundraising efforts. However, creating an accessible website could reap many other benefits for your organisation which you may have not be aware of.

Raspberry Frog (2008). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Charles Jeter

This blog is about Technical Communication--mostly. I may stray from time to time into family oriented posts. Located in sunny San Diego, loving the Southern California weather.

Jeter, Charles. Charles Jeter. Resources>TC>Web Design>Blogs


Charlie Kreitzberg on Web 2.0 and You

This is the recording of the presentation from the Catalyze Community monthly webcast featuring Charlie Kreitzberg on December 13, 2007. Charlie spoke on "Web 2 and You - How Web 2.0 Will Catapult Business Analysts and Usability Professionals into Center Stage" which examined his models for understanding Web 2.0 and explored the vast opportunities for professionals who define and design new software and websites.

Catalyze (2007). Design>Collaboration>User Experience>Web Design


Cheaper Over Better: Why Web Clients Settle for Less

Schumacher explains why clients hire bad web designers (and what good web designers can do about it).

Schumacher, Adam. List Apart, A (2000). Design>Web Design>Consulting



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