As a designer and programmer, design and usability is always a touchy subject when you’re dealing with the Web. There are a lot of so-called “experts” out there that will tell you one thing and then another will come along and contradict it. When looking through any site dealing with design and usability, please keep in mind that 99% of the time, whatever is said amounts to the author’s opinion. As with anything creative, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” What may be look good and is very usable to you may not be for someone else. I’ve found the key to making sure that your site is all you hope it can be is to make sure that the site is designed so that your main audience is very comfortable using the site. If your intended audience can’t use the site, then all the time and effort end up being an exercise in futility.
Do a bit of research on who your audience is. Run some tests. Find out some of the places on the web that they like to use. Then use those common themes to help guide your design. You’ll thank yourself in the long run for it.
In order to help you on that road, here’s a list of some links that tend to fall in that 1% range of people that actually know what they’re talking about. Granted, take anything here with a grain of salt. It all comes down to personal preference with what people like.
- Internet.com’s Developer Channel
- HTML Help by The Web Design Group
- The CGI Resource Index
- W3Schools Online Web Tutorials
- Victor Engel’s The Browser Safe Palette
- Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) Tutorial
- Complete CSS Guide: Contents
- HTML Goodies – Home Page
- Internet Explorer