Month: January 2006

Author: Elisa Warner Eliminating technological distractions can help alleviate procrastination. Problem: While procrastination is inevitable at times, habitual procrastination can interfere with personal performance and team goals. When a project consists of interdependent tasks, one person’s procrastination can cause a ripple effect that impacts a series of team deadlines. Solution: Develop specific solutions to address

Flexible designs make finding information rewarding. Problem You need to engage visitors by making a large amount of data interesting. Solution Augment your database by utilizing any of a number of techniques: Provide views. Produce a series of pages with pre-selected fields, a clear layout, and illustrations. For example, a database of hundreds of insects

Utilizing straightforward URLs helps both humans and search engines find your pages. Problem You need to make pages memorable to both visitors and search engines. Solution Design straightforward URLs and do not use frames. Discussion Your URLs should be short enough so that people can write them down. Do not use frames. If pages are

Adding a local search engine helps visitors quickly locate the information they need. Problem Visitors need to find content among the sea of pages on your web site. Solution Add a search engine to your site. Add “Find:” to the bottom of every page, along with a search box. Also add a search link to

Linking as a navigational aid. Problem You need to let visitors move to neighboring pages. Solution In addition to the other navigational tools on the page, add previous and next links. Discussion For ease of navigation, add a small arrow, or a bracket, such as “>” or “».” These links should be obvious, and placed

Focusing on opportunities for interactivity. Problem You need to overcome the constraints of a web browser. Solution Expect to compromise and innovate. Discussion Browsers have limited screen space, limited navigational conventions, low resolution, and limited bandwidth. Content producers must massage the site’s content, appearance, pedagogy, and organization. Rather than be concerned with the shortcomings of

Organizing material for multiple navigation methods appeals to a variety of learning styles. Problem You need to organize the content of your web site. Solution Design the site so it can be navigated several different ways, but choose an overall organizational model that fits the subject. There are several approaches from which to choose: Organize

Repurposing material for a new medium. Problem You need to adapt a real experience into a virtual experience. Solution Rather than adapt the experience as a whole, instead plan on repurposing much of the material into a different structure. Discussion During the formative years of the Internet, print, radio, and television were quick to adapt

Encouraging epiphanies through interactive web content. Problem You need to choose what to put online. Solution Focus on topics that are hard to explain using words alone, but that come to life with interactivity and multimedia. Discussion Designing effective content is as much a matter of what you don’t say, as what you do say.

Integrating search concepts into web design enables visitors to find relevant information. Problem Visitors must wade through extraneous information to find relevant content, or your web site is not picked up by search engines. Solution In addition to making the content of your web site available through remote and local search engines, integrate central search