Create With Purpose

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July 8, 2011

Characteristics of the best Web sites

Good web sites have five characteristics, regardless of their subject matter:

1. They are purposeful.
That is, they have clear goals and objectives. Hence caters for a specific community.

2. They are interactive.
A web site doesn’t have to use all the most sophisticated technologies; it just has to spur users to do something. Rather than including a “mailto” (a special kind of link for sending an email message when a visitor clicks on it, it uses a contact form which visitors can use to contact the youth with comments, or features something as simple as a button users can click on to get a pop-up definition.
Think action.

3. They support assessment.

Great websites provide a way to measure learning, skills development, or other aspects of effectiveness. Think about this aspect as you build sites, for them to serve as a way of users skills development.

4. They tell a story.
Stories are the essence of both learning and entertainment and are a way of sneaking knowledge past a young person’s defenses. Website stories don’t have to be novels or even narratives. A collection of neighborhood slang terms can tell a story about language, and the right photograph can tell a story of an adventure.

5. They are systematic.
Our brain searches for patterns, and great websites all have a logical structure that reveals their stories in a way that youth can understand. Don’t mistake “logical” or “systematic” to mean linear. One of the great things about hyperlinking and the web is that visitors can find their own way to the heart of a story according to their individual interests and via multiple paths.

Look for these characteristics in the sites you use to learn, and build them into the sites you create. The learning value in building a web page is not so much in using the software but in learning to be better communicators.

Source : AYV
If the web passes above five characteristics check following areas for its technical perfection.

The most effective websites reflect best practices across all of above elements.

Guidelines for good Appearence
Use good web safe colors: Most good websites use color scheme that contain 2 or 3 primary colors that blend well to create a right mood for your site. Over doing colors can distract users from the prime content.

Use easy to read Text format:
The most best sites use black text on a white background. However many other combinations can be used as long as the contrast is eye friendly. White on black is fine, but green on blue is questionable,
Use simple fonts that are easy to read Use common fonts that and in  most of today's computer systems. Arial in this connection is a good font. Keep the font sizes to suit your audience. Now a days most peopel prefer larger font sizes like 11-12 pts.

Use graphics meaningfully Graphics are very important to create the visual mood and tempo. But dont over use them or use them to take attention from Text. Don’t overload your web page with lots of images.

Quality of graphics and photography: Its important that you maintain higher quality of your images and photography. If you are presenting a product, high quality images will help users to be attracted.

Keeping it Simple Do not over do your web pages. Allow lots of empty spaces and use simple layouts to allow users to focus on your message. Using overly complex designs, animation, or other effects will impress your viewers, but they will not get the message.

Content is the King
The purpose of your site is content, which means serving of informatio to your users for a purpose of making a decision or learning something. The content should be consize as well as be informative and relevant to the subject. Good content will increase the visitor confidence in your site, your knowledge and competence.
Content Guidelines - Make it short and organized copy of text:

- Clearly seperate topics and break the text into small paragraphs.
- Do you know, its only less than 10 seconds you have to retain your visitor
- Grab the attention by being clear, concise and compelling.
- Update your site regularly
- Static content will not bring visitors back to your site!
- Use words that speaks to your visitors
- More you, your, and less I, we, us and our
- Use a professional assistance to improve your copy
- Flashy graphics and animation help create very positive impact on user experiences.
- Use multimedia to entertain and enlighten your users
- Make available downloadble content, something original and valueble
- Search Engines like Text and good phrases

Functionality - Make sure your web is well functional with no broken links

- Test, Test, Test your web for all possible errors
- Double check your content and

Usability Your site must be easy to read, navigate, and understand. Some key usability elements include:

  • Simplicity, Fast-loading pages, Minimal scroll, Consistent
  • layout, logical navigation, Descriptive link text, Cross-
  • platform/browser compatibility, Screen Resolution
  • Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
  • Include plenty of written content in HTML format.
  • Use your important keywords frequently and appropriately.
  • Minimize the use of tables and use CSS
  • Make your links descriptive and use your keywords in the link text

This white paper by Anuja Dhakar and Kirsti Aho, published by Macromedia in 2002, features curriculumfor multimedia, including Flash, and web design projects.

Creating a Blog: A Workshop for Teens
A lesson plan that helps educators walk youth participants through the process of developing their own Blog. This detailed workshop plan includes discussion questions and links to examples.

Building Digital Skills: Helping Students Learn and Communicate with Technology

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