Website Building Guidelines

I came across a really useful publication dating from 1996, which I believe still holds true today. It was put together by Apple, they of the IPhone, Macintosh computers and lots of software fame.

See what you think…

  • Plan Your Site
    Have an Objective
    Develop Content Before
    Add Value
  • Provide The Basics
    Provide Author or Contact Person Information
    Identify With your Corporation or Institution
    List your URL
    Let People Know How Current the Site Is
  • Communicate Effectively
    Keep Pages Short
    Use Formatting Wisely
    Summarize Information
    Use Specific Link References
    Define a Language Style
    Use Familiar Technology
    Capitalization for Human Interface Elements
    Use Useful and Clear Error Messages
  • Help Users Find Their Way
    Take Advantage of Keywords
    Provide a Directory of Your Site
    Minimize the Need to Scroll and Resize
    Use Descriptive Titles
    Choose the Appropriate Depth Versus Breadth for Your Site
    Use Appropriate Navigation buttons
    Avoid Dead Ends
    Include Internal Links on Long Pages
    Include Links to the Key Locations in Your Data
    Duplicate Navigational Items at the Bottom of Your Pages
    Use Cross References
    Provide a Search Mechanism
  • Design for Efficiency
    Don’t Bury Information
    Minimize File Size
    Use Small Images
    Use Thumbnail Graphics
    Repeat Images Where Possible
    Specify the Width and Height for Graphics
    Use Interlaced Images
    Know the Difference Between GIF and JPEG
  • Accommodate Differences
    Provide Alternate Text for Images
    Provide Files in Cross-Platform Format
    Let Users Decide
  • Make it Look Nice
    Use Appropriate Formatting
    Design for Different Page Orientations
    Use Caps/Lower Case or Initial Cap Style for Headings
    Use Empty (White) Space Liberally
    Establish a Layout Grid for Your Site
    Use a Consistent Visual Design Language
  • Encourage Dialog
    Provide Ways for People to Interact With Each Other
    Provide an E-mail Contact
    Provide a Way for People to Request Specific Information
    Make the Interaction Live, If You Can
  • Think Globally
    Provide A Way For Users To Choose A Language
    Choose Your Graphics Wisely
    Consider Language Differences
    Avoid Assumptions About Text
    Consider Alignment Differences
  • Maintain Your Site
    Test Your Web Site
    Copy Edit Your Pages
    Check For Broken Links
    Update Your Site Regularly
    Keep Information Timely
    Provide Access To Archived Information

Clearly some of the recommendations herein are aimed at web developers. But I also think that as the web becomes a standard way for businesses to communicate it is imperative that they understand some simple basics of web development to ensure they support their online presence effectively. Thus ensuring a greater return on their investment.