How Many L's in Web Design

When I considered whether I was qualified to submit an article to InternetDay, I reminded myself that with a little over a year working with web-based technology and learning how to design websites...I have more experience than many others who will read my article. With that in mind I had to decide on a topic that would be of interest to those who do read IDN. What better subject than Web Design? I looked at the words Web Design and counted 10 L's. How many did you count? Look - Does your site look good? Does it look interesting? Does it look like a place I might want to spend some time? Do you look at your site with the eyes of your visitors? Do you look at other sites to see how their look compares? Are you willing to make yours look better?

Layout - Is your layout appealing? Is your layout the best possible one for the contents of your site? Does your layout enhance the experience of visiting your site? Does your layout incorporate the right balance of pictures, text, graphics, animations, banners, etc?

Logical - Is your site designed in a logical manner? Would I be able to understand what you want me to do when I visit...even though you haven't been able to brief me in advance? Is the progression through your site logical or will I get confused, discouraged or lost?

Loadtime - Is your page/site loadtime reasonable? Will I be waiting forever for a rather unimportant (to me) page to load in the hopes it's what I've been looking for and haven't found yet? Or, will I grow a beard waiting for various bells and whistles to finish presenting themselves? Worse yet...will I leave your site before I get to what you wanted me to see?

Length - How long are your individual pages? With a few exceptions for articles, reviews or other (they look better uninterrupted) unique items, do you limit your pages to 1-2 screens with 1 1/2 being just about right?

Links - Do ALL of your links work? Do your links take people where you want them to go and where they are expecting to go? Do you have escape links at the bottom of those lengthy pages so they don't have to scroll up to find their way out?

Listen - Do you really listen to what your visitors say when they take the time to comment? Do you seek the opinion of others whom you respect and then listen to what they say? Do you respond by making changes as a result of listening?

Learn - Are you in the habit of learning something new every day? When you hear about a new "web" thing...do you check it out to see how it might benefit you and your site? Do you remember your mistakes and do your best not to repeat them as you move forward?

Laugh - Looking back at some of those mistakes you learned from, are you able to laugh? Do you stop every now and then and laugh that you're being paid to do something you love to do? When you discover an unbelievable gaffe on your site...do you get angry or frustrated, or do you see the humor and take a moment to laugh at the situation?

Lonely - Remember...no man or woman is an island! Web Design can tend to be a solo activity. Do you remember to come out of the cave where you labor and spend time with family and friends? Do you think about how lonely other people can get while they wait for you to emerge from your den of creativity?

The next time you hear the words Web Design I hope you'll mentally spell them out looking for the L's.

Article by Bob McCoy