basic usability & website essentials

content & data

1st impressions: professionalism • quality

  • demonstrate credibility & competence
  • project professionalism and quality
  • convey branded identity
  • send congruent marketing message, tone, editorial style
  • engage target audience beginning on first page
  • create an authoritative online presence
  • underline hyperlinks within paragraphical content, etc.
  • keep your site free of unnecessary items and annoyances
  • if in doubt, throw it out - less is more in many instances;
  • ensure functional & navigable without javascript | flash
  • execute cross browser compatibility tests for current versions of:
  • firefox
  • safari
  • chrome
  • opera
  • ie
  • address previous ie bugs with 'if ie6 below" css entry
  • ensure site renders properly on:
  • . . . pc desktops & laptops, netbooks
  • . . . . mac computers & iPhones
  • . . . . .portable tablets, phones, and iPads
  • . . . . . .mobile devices & smartphones
  • invest in & maintain professional, custom web presence
  • skip pre-fab templates & nephew designers
  • skip automatic "play" settings of audio and video files
  • skip flash & required "click to enter" homepages

content & data

delivery | presentation | clarity

  • succinctly convey the exact nature and purpose of your website
  • design, write, & focus on site visitor's needs and interests
  • provide client-centric solutions tailored to visitor agenda
  • fulfill user expectations for info, services, products, or effect
  • give generously! offer free, accessible info & resources
  • provide useful knowledge & demonstrative graphics or diagrams
  • establish a niche and demonstrate your expertise
  • clarify exact focal point and topic of each page
  • categorize website content into small chunks of subtopics
  • clearly depict topics subjects with descriptive headers
  • format easy to scan onpage content to facilitate perusal
  • allocate white space with a focus on monetization & critical info
  • maintain a clutter free site
  • strategically use white space to draw focus
  • systematically engineer successful site paths to elicit conversion
  • skip unnecessary user registration requirements
  • skip marketing tactics & sales pitches
  • unrestrict access to product pages
  • replace mundane or shallow content
  • ensure political correctness
  • consistently identify or describe links and download files
  • sympbolize pdf, word, text, cvs files
  • identify media such as audio, podcast, video, ebooks, slides
  • label zip, tar and executable installers
  • differentiate internal vs. external links

text & typography: legibility • clarity

  • use a consistent font style, color, and size
  • minimize entire word or phrase capitalization
  • substitute a small cap font variant for large capitalized:
  • . . . hierarchal headings
  • . . . . main category titles
  • . . . . . stylized text elements
  • skip tacky & distracting blinking, gaudy text styles
  • enhance legibility of site's main content with:
  • . . . dark font on white background
  • minimize use of dark backgrounds for textual content areas

media | graphics | audio | video | slides | galleries

  • respect site visitors' control over own computing environment
  • skip automatic "play" settings of audio and video files
  • offer music and movies on demand only
  • offer full controls to play and pause media
  • clearly describe play, next, submit buttons or text excerpts
  • use descriptors such as [ "click here to view tutorial on...."], etc.
  • invest in a professionally designed logo
  • theme print brochures, stationery, letterhead
  • adhere to high quality, relevant, and purposeful graphics:
  • implement images that serve a demonstrative purpose
  • images should enhance overall quality and usefulness of website
  • elements that don't contribute to objectives thus detract and dilute
  • when in doubt, throw it out
  • 86 outdated, cheap clipart, arrows, buttons, and clutter
  • skip "under construction" graphics, phrases, or place holders
  • account for and reconcile missing or incomplete content
  • launch your site and new webpage additions only when complete
  • ensure "first impression" content readiness
  • spell check, browser test, proof, reproof
  • apply overall political correctness

website repair or site redesign? fix or start over?

  • does site need of repair and polish?
  • is your company making a strong professional impact ?
  • Is your website far better than your competitors' sites?
  • It should be...

restore or rebuild?

is your site outstanding? by any measure?

It should be...and San Diego Web Design Studio can provide an efficient and sensible plan that makes the best use of current resources. We accommodate most reasonable and even limited budgetary constraints, and strive to convert your website into a catalytic marketing hub that revamps and modernizes your branding and professional image impact...your competitors won't be too happy, but you will!

Web Re-Design or Website Repair? Certain website issues posing obstacles to w3c validation, if existent, may be rectifiable by modification, or "website repair". Sitewide, overall quality problems, and structural impediments such as sites built entirely in tables, frames, flash, or frontpage typically call for website redesign and reprogramming. We offer very reasonable website redesign and repair rates.

*Note: a website's navigation is the spine, or backbone, of the entire site...keep in mind, it's possible for a site with good navigation to still be an awful site, yet impossible for an otherwise attractive site with awful navigation to qualify as "good"...poor navigation equates to a poor site, period

Sites consisting of poor navigation, as well as outdated and unprofessional sites, generally benefit most from a sitewide rebuild. Also, websites weighed down and repressed with excessive onpage scripting, heavy inline code and style markup, usually require a web page redesign.

If you would like more information on improving your company's professional image and search engine performance, please call us anytime at 619.504.0450 , or contact us via the web by eMail. For your convenience, a quick contact form is available for simple online inquiries.

Kaizen: Japanese: "improvement" or "change for the better"

* a note about style

The guidelines listed above are general in nature; your industry and demographic market audience will determine the degree of style, creativity, and formality / informality most appropriate; this website, representing a creative service, bends the style and continuity rules on select pages - just as professional attire for a banker varies drastically from what a musician or artist might be expected to wear, some onsite punctuation and writing styles are purposefully "informal". Especially true with use of lowercase lettering.


call 619.504.0450

We apply a professional project management approach to developing custom websites. Adherence to a formal web design process assures an intelligent and strategically engineered final product that meets your needs, budget, and goals.

Most importantly, html5 finally eliminates the need for various DocType Definitions, and supports dynamic interactivity such as Canvas drawing and dynamic presentations in pure, valid markup.

got valid code?

We do! And we sure would like to give your site a makeover. Give us a call for improved performance. 619.504.0450You can eMail us anytime.

applying the "out in doubt" website cleaning method

not sure? that's doubt...throw it out!

a very effective rule of thumb: if in doubt, throw it out...if an outdated, unappealing, or otherwise questionable facet of your website exists, cut it out.

if in doubt cut it out Systematically, if in doubt - throw it out. What you include in your website regarding elements and content either contributes to goal achievement, orit detracts from the likelihood of successful site visits. If in doubt, cut it out... period!

This concept, attributable to the food and drug administration's campaign to reduce incidents of food poisoning, requires diligence and self honesty. When applied repetitively, integrated with an iterative and tenacious website maintenance and marketing plan, contibutes to excellence in presentation and performance.

Combing through a large website on a consistent basis is instrumental to projecting a professional, polished, and progressive brand. Obsolescence manifests over time; what may have been an appropriate element, stance, or assertion last quarter, may be deprecated and obsolete the next. If the amount of dated content becomes substantial, the entire website may lack crediblity.

basic website essentials

generally speaking, what's a website "my bad"...? depends on various criteria, including possible unique and proprietary considerations. Often the most effective questions might be :

value test elements ...

  • does element contribute to site's success?
  • or does it detract from quality & style?
  • is the element in question appropriate and consistent in tone?
  • is the element necessary & purposeful ?
  • what would happen if you omitted the element?

website organization & layout

hierarchical categories

  • categorize & sub-categorize content and sections
  • pyramid content w/most general and introductory at top
  • detail with interpretive, descriptive headings
  • shorten paragraphs and use mini sections
  • publish unique, rich, informative and relevant content
  • ensure content promotes useful, interesting experience
  • avoid using duplicate content that is available on other websites
  • ali innovative info new to the google index
  • plan content and topics around target keywords
  • emphasize aliing value to the web as a resource
  • apply the question: will targeted market audience bookmark this?
  • apply accessibility features to
  • elicit feedback to gauge market sentiment
  • ensure age and target audience appropriateness
  • if in doubt, throw it out

menus & navigation

internal & external text links • site maps

technology & markup

minimal code & open source programming

  • skip flash; substitute with css3 & html5
  • skip cookies
  • use html5 client storage if applicable
  • skip automatic & persistent pop up ads
  • avoid trickery, sneaky plug-ins, privacy exploits
  • review server log files & site statistics regularly
  • study trends and patterns
  • analyze end user behavior
  • create user personas
  • use a / b conversion testing via analytics
  • identify sales referral sources & paths
  • assess site usability
  • monitor bounce rates
  • note entry and exit pages
  • improveme and monetize
  • study effect and impact of revisions
  • skip "right mouse click" disablement
  • situate & format traditional site elements in expected locations and styles:
  • website logo in top left corner of page linked to home page

extensibility | validation | accessibility

w3c web standard compliance

  • skip website frames
  • skip entirely flash-built websites
  • skip flash or javascript only navigation
  • skip heavy scripting
  • skip copious amounts of onpage markup
  • keep scripts filed externally offpage
  • validate website's html & css
  • adhere to w3c web standards
  • augment videos and audio with annotations and captions
  • use text whenever possible vs. images
  • augment graphics and links with alt and title tags
  • support handicapped visitors via aural & text browsers
  • view our section on benefits of validating your website

successful conversion

completed transactions

  • add website interactivity and accessibility features
  • adjust for industry and theme appropriateness
  • provide multiple options for contact and inquiry
  • provide multiple options for payment
  • update, add, enhance new methods for increasing revenue
  • develop new channels of website revenue
  • accommodate mobile web visitors on smaller screens
  • optimize a mobile version of your website for phones/iPads