Core Design Principles

Here are the key design principles reflected in my work:

  • The Elegance of Simplicity : Entia non multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. This is the essence of it all: the principle called Occam’s Razor. I firmly believe in the elegance of simplicity, so don’t hire me if you want a Rococo Web site!
  • Readability and Usability : People should be able to intuitively understand how to use your Web site. To achieve these goals, you must necessarily pay rigorous attention to typography, color, and design to ensure that viewers can quickly understand and use what they are seeing.
  • Attention to Detail : I hate sloppy work. It reflects poorly on the creator of the work, and the person for whom it was created.
  • Attention to Proper Standards: I am a firm proponent of following Web standards in the development of sites. I write most of my HTML and CSS by hand to get the cleanest markup. I pay a lot of attention to cross-browser issues, and I design layouts in ways that minimize browser idiosyncrasies. When needed, I write my own WordPress themes so that the code meets my standards. I have a deep understanding of CSS layouts (I even teach Web design at the local college), so I create semantic markup that works smoothly across all major browsers. You won’t find a table in my work, unless it’s actually displaying tabular data. Table-based Web layouts are painfully obsolete, and the brittle, bloated code that is the result undermines understanding by people and search engines.
       Attention to Proper Standards requires you to be forward-looking, too. The environment for building Web sites has improved dramatically since the early days of the Web, and you must factor an understanding of where the Web is going into your designs. Where we once sliced images into little bits to fit into table cells, we now use CSS positioning to place our elements wherever we’d like them to appear on the screen. The pathetic FONT tag is now a thing of the past, as style sheets allow fine-grained control over the appearance of everything on the page. With wide support for CSS3 now, we can trivially add drop shadows under text and boxes, control the opacity of elements, and insert other media types into the page. With Ajax, we can dynamically update parts of pages without needing to refresh the entire page. With modern Javascript libraries, we can add lightweight animations and other effects that work in all modern browsers. Modern content management systems allow pages and sites to be created dynamically upon request, allowing for complete adaptation of the site’s contents to the user. Standards in Web design are a moving target, and a Web developer has to stay current.
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