your thoughts on the "perfect" website

  • zoic
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Post 3+ Months Ago

just a random question...what do you consider to be the "perfect" website?

in other words, list any and all features included, colors, layout/navigation, etc...
  • joseph
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Post 3+ Months Ago

1.Fast loading
2.Cool to the eyes
3.User friendly
4.Content centric
  • FiveseveN
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Post 3+ Months Ago

A perfect website? Try this:
Code: [ Select ]
<html><body bgcolor=#000000></body></html>


I mean... there's so much more to web-design than fast loading, eyecandy and SEO, people!

A perfect website is the website built by the user, not the designer. Since we don't have the technology to probe the visitor's mind and display his deepest desires on screen, we'll just have to try and produce a site where the user can set his imagination free and feel like "the content" (what most designers think of as a product that they must sell) is as familiar as his mother's breast and he'll end up knowing it like the back of his hand.
That, my friends, is what makes a perfect website: synchronization with the user's eyes, ears, mind, soul.
  • Mas Sehguh
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Everybody has a different "perfect" Web site, because everybody has different needs. The perfect Web sites for a cell phone user, an IE user, and a blind user may be completely different.

Interestingly, they usually turn out to be the same. When people visit a Web site, they are interested in content. If you bog down the content with design, you will only make the information less easy to access. For instance, if you look at http://candystand.com, it has all these hoops the user has to jump through just to play a game! It would be much better made if the main page simply contained a list of games, with optionally a shrunken screenshot of the game, with a login box. It would be rediculously easy to find the game you want to play via the main site. Which would be a great thing.

In the perfect Web site, the design helps clarify the information and actually decreases the amount of time it takes for the user to get what he/she wants. For the archetypal example of such a Web site design, see Google itself.

Unfortunately, most designers are concerned with throwing art in the way of the user's quest for information.

I believe the perfect Web site has the following properties (not a complete list, of course):

1. It keeps font size and family at the user's preference. This way, it is guaranteed that the user can read comfortably (or tolerably).

2. The site's purpose is made clear instantly.

3. The visitor knows what his current "location" is. That is, the site's contents has a clearly-defined structure (tree-like? linear? categorized?), and each page clearly indicates the user's current location within those contents.

4. Nothing breaks the user's standard model of a Web site interface -- all links are underlined, all links are colored the same (unless you have, say, a different color for external links than internal links and you make this clear to the user with a legend). Linked images must be outlined in the site's link color. No page has links which point to the page itself. Nothing breaks when javascript is turned off, unless it is a specialized Javascript application that is a content of a page itself, such as an online Reverse Polish Notation calculator.

5. All information is marked up in a semantically-correct manner, and heading structure follows an H1-H2-H3-... ordering, without skipping levels.

6. CSS, not tables, should be used for layout, if there is any. Typically, no special layout DIVs should be needed. Navigation is for index.html pages, typically -- other pages should have links at the top and bottom that refer back to the index page. (See http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/ for an example of a site which follows this model.) Universally-copied navigation menus are a no-no; they are almost always irrelevant (unless the site has a categorized structure, and one of the menu items indicates the current location. On very small sites (3-10 documents) with this structure, universal menus are ok.)

7. Long documents must have a table of contents at their top.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think you all have great valid points that contribute to a great web site. :D
  • sarvel
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It may work perfectly more than one browser.
  • joebert
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Post 3+ Months Ago

One that has NOTHING to distract my attention while im there, including script/layout errors, popups, banner ads, how to bake a cake when the site name is petsRus ect..
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ooo joebert your a hard man to please! :P
  • Mas Sehguh
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Post 3+ Months Ago

sarvel wrote:
It may work perfectly more than one browser.


Ah, so it works in IE 6 and IE 5.5! ;-)
  • puKKa
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Post 3+ Months Ago

good colors, not too bright, easy to read, optimized and fast, working good in all browsers, dynamic(PHP or ASP), hmm.. new section is good but it always depends on what kind of site it is but news are almost always good to have :)
  • gsv2com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Fast and easy

what more needs to be said? content-centric with no barriers to information.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

They did say perfect, I figure no distractions is a good start :P
  • FiveseveN
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I was afraid it would come to this:
What zoic probably meant to ask is "what is the most standard, the dullest site you can think of?", which you all have strived to answer...
THINK for a minute, people: what is fast, content centric, semantically-correct, etc. etc. ? A block of text! Oh, sure, you can add hyperlinks to browse through this insipid e-book.

I'm not saying the site should be full of fluffy images and such, nor that it must be an outstanding display of animation skills. I'm just saying that if you're gonna abide these standards that are getting more and more strict, and you're gonna take a draft like amazon.com or yahoo.com and just change the content, the Internet is NOT going to get any better and people like me might as well move to another planet where DESIGN is actually a form of ART.

Oh, if you're wondering, the closest thing to a "perfect website" I've seen so far is http://conclave.ru/ .But hey, I know you're not gonna like it 'cause it's not SEO friendly and it's a full 400 KB or so... oooh, my !
  • zoic
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Post 3+ Months Ago

FiveseveN wrote:
What zoic probably meant to ask is "what is the most standard, the dullest site you can think of?", which you all have strived to answer...

What I was really trying to get at was what features does a good/perfect website include, but these are helpful too.
  • bluephoenix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Bah, I don't believe in "perfect". No Earthly person, object, or thing is perfect.

Perfection is perception. Something one person reveres as perfect may be the complete opposite in others eyes.

However, most sites are fine by me, so long as...

    - They aren't hosted by Geocities, Angelfire, Lycos, etc. :twisted:
    - It isn't made up of a pink background and green text.
    - If the background is an image, it does not make the text virtually impossible to read.
    - They contain as few animated GIF's as possible... and if it contains any, they relate to the page.
    - The design is clear and concise... in other words, you're not searching for the navigation.
    - The colors burn your retinas (in other words, they are soft on the eyes).
  • Mas Sehguh
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FiveseveN wrote:
Oh, if you're wondering, the closest thing to a "perfect website" I've seen so far is http://conclave.ru/ .But hey, I know you're not gonna like it 'cause it's not SEO friendly and it's a full 400 KB or so... oooh, my !


It plays sound without my asking it to play sound.
  • gsv2com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Oh, if you're wondering, the closest thing to a "perfect website" I've seen so far is http://conclave.ru/ .But hey, I know you're not gonna like it 'cause it's not SEO friendly and it's a full 400 KB or so... oooh, my !

It's very artsy and the pictures are great, however navigation should not be a puzzle. It took me a few minutes to realize there was even a navbar on the top. Good flash, but as is the case with most flash websites: it's all eye-candy.
  • rtm223
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Post 3+ Months Ago

FiveseveN wrote:
people like me might as well move to another planet where DESIGN is actually a form of ART.

design is a form of art, but whereas art is a purely aesthetic field, design (especially design of something technical) requires form and function. THere is more to design than just looks. What use is a furniture designer who's chairs look beautiful, but you can't sit on them because they are so damn uncomfortable? What use is an architect who creates beautiful buildings but you can't find the door to get in?

As a case in point, the millenium bridge in london is a gorgeous piece of aesthetic design, so does that mean that the bridge was well designed? Seeing as it had to be closed down after a few days and redesigned, because the original technical design was flawwed, I'm gonna say no. The aesthetic design was there, but that did not make it any good.

Beauty is a great thing and most definately is important in the visual medium of the web, but the web is not a purely visual medium. You don't just sit and look at a website, it's not a painting hanging on the wall. Plus your arguments take things to rediculous extremes. There is no black and white, beautiful and technically sound are not mutually exclusive and far too many people, on both sides of the argument are trying to force them to be so. Why? Because we all have our strengths and weaknesses and it's far easier to say "well I'm not good at art, so it's not important and I just won't bother", or "I'm not good at the technical aspects of web design, so I'll just not think about it", than it is to actually try and improve your weaknesses. To many people try to cop out.

Quote:
Oh, if you're wondering, the closest thing to a "perfect website" I've seen so far is http://conclave.ru/ .But hey, I know you're not gonna like it 'cause it's not SEO friendly and it's a full 400 KB or so... oooh, my !

You see, here we have to look at what perfect means. A perfect website will have all aspects of design to a high standard. Good aesthetic, fast load times, sound code, browser compatibility, standards compliance with a strategies for forwards compatibility, device independance, accessibility, useability, optimised to be user friendly first but also se friendly, intuitive UI, graceful deformation.... The list goes on and I have not even mentioned back end programming yet. A website is not a simple thing, so the definition of a perfect website is not as simple as a single word.
  • FiveseveN
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Listen, man. You need not tell me what art is. I'm not gonna wave my penis here and say "Look at me, I study art!", but I am going to assure you that I know more about the fundamentals of art, architecture and design then most of the people on Ozzu.

My mission is to burry all that is standard for drafts and templates ARE NOT ART, no matter how user- and se-friendly they are, no matter how spotless their code is.
And frankly... if it took you more than 5 seconds to figure out the navigation system at CMA Darkroom, that makes you s t u p i d .
Maybe standards in my country are so much different than yours that we'll never settle this.

Par example: someone from the UK asked me to design a logo for a site. But I had to do it without even seeing the website (which was to be constructed) or knowing as much as what it's about AND, I had to do it in like 3 hours. I told the man that's insane and he said "As long as you work for me, you'll do what I say!" So I made a joke of a logo and he was OK with it. Because such is life: what is genius for most of you is mediocre for us.
Over here, before we even think of designing a logo, we run extensive inquiries, do a case study, probe the market and the end-users, you know, the things REAL designers do.

And web-design is, as you also stated, much more advanced than graphic design so excuse me if I think Mr. Hey-This-Is-My-First-Website-And-I-Made-It-Last-Night-In-MS-FrontPage's site is everything BUT art.

I am radical. I want to change the world wide web. Sue me.
  • rtm223
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Quote:
Maybe ... we'll never settle this.

Ok, I think I missed the part where you specifically dissagree with me, or show me that I'm wrong, but never mind. I'll just assume you think I'm right ;)
  • Mas Sehguh
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Post 3+ Months Ago

FiveseveN wrote:
And frankly... if it took you more than 5 seconds to figure out the navigation system at CMA Darkroom, that makes you s t u p i d .


Whether he is stupid or not is irrelevant. If a stupid person cannot figure out the navigation system, then the site has failed. After all, it uses mystery meat navigation, which is like making highway exit signs that don't tell you the exit number and town until you merge into the exit lane.

FiveseveN wrote:
Over here, before we even think of designing a logo, we run extensive inquiries, do a case study, probe the market and the end-users, you know, the things REAL designers do.


But when it comes to Web sites, do you run usability studies as well? They are more important.

FiveseveN wrote:
Listen, man. You need not tell me what art is. I'm not gonna wave my penis here and say "Look at me, I study art!", but I am going to assure you that I know more about the fundamentals of art, architecture and design then most of the people on Ozzu.


But there is some art which you don't seem to appreciate:
The artistic elegance of well-structured data.
The art of usability.
The art of well-written code, in any computer language (especially Perl).
Even the art of designing programming languages (Forth and UserRPL come to mind).
And especially, artfully-presented mathematical proofs. They are the best.

All of the above refer to artful organization of information, and artfully executed function, which is something more abstract but ultimately far more important on the World Wide Web and many other media.

What is great is that visual art and the art of organization and function are not mutually exclusive! Good design is artful in both manners, and with good design, the visual aspect augments the functional and organizational aspect!

FiveseveN wrote:
I am radical. I want to change the world wide web.


Sure, but in what direction? If you want to take it in any direction that decreases accessibility or usability, then you want to take it in the wrong direction.

FiveseveN wrote:
THINK for a minute, people: what is fast, content centric, semantically-correct, etc. etc. ? A block of text! Oh, sure, you can add hyperlinks to browse through this insipid e-book.


Ever read a novel?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The perfect website is the one you spend your time and put all fo your effort into making it unique.
  • FiveseveN
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sam, how come they teach graphic design in art schools but not programming? Isn't that enough to prove my point? And I appreciate programing, too, for I was also a programmer a long time ago. But THINK for a second: the average user is NOT gonna look at your source code to see if you used nested tables and what-not.

Now about usability and your highway exits: is it my fault you don't know Latin? Is it CMA's fault?
Quote:
Whether he is stupid or not is irrelevant.

Oh, realy? What if he can't read? Does that make the design faulty? I believe IQ is VERY relevant.
  • Kally
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It must be dark and composed entirely of black and grey (in other words, it must not inflict pain on my eyes).
  • rtm223
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Post 3+ Months Ago

FiveseveN wrote:
Sam, how come they teach graphic design in art schools but not programming? Isn't that enough to prove my point?

Most schools of art will teach graphic design but NOT much website design, if they even teach it at all. From this, using your logic, website design is not art and I think you have inadvertently, though rather elegantly, disproved your point :D

Anyhoo, the problem with the navigation in that site is the mystery meat nature of the navigation. You get NO indication of where the link goes until you have moused over it. This is a distinct useability flaw and even those of us with exceptional IQ's cannot see that which is invisible. No, really we can't. This has nothing to do with the intelligence of the user, its a matter of the designer not thinking about basic user needs. Simple as that.
  • FiveseveN
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I'm glad you figured one thing out: web-design is NOT considered a form of art and no wonder... Here's a sample from Xone Design dot org:

Quote:
Xone Design is a web-design freelancers association that strives to turn the Internet into a complete and universal form of art.
Why? Because there are true geniuses out there, among terabytes of absolute junk. And because the World Wide Web, due to its accessibility, popularity, multimedia and expansive nature, provides limitless possibilities.
How? By collaborating with similar organizations, by helping new talent and by discouraging cheap eyecandy.


So it's not art, but it could be. And it could be the best kind of art ever!
  • Sumen
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Post 3+ Months Ago

that conclave site has great effects.
But im not stupid, and I didn't notice the Navigation for a bit. Little arrows dont make me think its a link to other parts of the site. Especially since theres already little dots flying around etc.
The music and sound effects make the site interesting. But I also feel like it takes too much time to navigate the site in general and would leave because of that.

and I think when designing a site you should think about who its for. Most of my friends like sites that are flashy like that. I personally spend too much time on the internet already, and I feel like my time is being wasted with that stuff. I also think that plainish layouts can sometimes be even tougher to navigate. Also make the content seem boring.
  • FiveseveN
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Sumen wrote:
im not stupid


Does that sound like something someone smart would say?
I rest my case.
  • spacecadet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well not sure there is such a thing as a "perfect site".

But to me IMHO all sites should:

1) Load fast. The on-page text should be less than 10K and counting images the page size should be kept under 40K for the home page.
Images must be optimized for faster load time.

2) The site should be easy to naviagate. Use bread crumbs to let site visitors know how they got to that page. Use a site map if the website is fairly large. Have a link on all pages to the site map.

3) Make sure the page is search engine friendly. Plain HTML is best; but if you must use JavaScript keep it to a minimum. Run the page through a validator to get rid of ALL coding errors. Make sure the page is cross browser compatible. Correct all spelling errors. Make sure there are NO broken links - not one - on the entire site.

4) Use a pleasing color scheme. One that is easy on the eyes. Use dark text on a light background and light text on a dark background. Blue is the most popular color for websites, so you can't go wrong with using blue.

5) Make use of ALT and TITLE tags; but make sure the text in them actually describes the image or link in question.

6) If your site is a commercial site then remember that "Content is King". The more pages to your site the better.

7) Use hyperlinks in the body text of your sites pages; not just in the nav bar area. If you come to a keyword on one of your pages that describes another page of your site, make that keyword be a link to the other page. This will increase the other pages PageRank and its overall link popularity.

8) Again, if the site is a commercial site, it should have a "Resource" section where you exchange links with other webmasters.

9) A 'Perfect Site" should be considered an authority site in its particular industry. To accomplish this, have a really large site with lots of keyword rich relevant content, have lots of external links using for the anchor text the main theme of your site, LINK TO other authority sites. Get listed in as many directories as possible. DMOZ, Yahoo! Directory and the Looksmart directory are three very important ones. There are other good directories as well, a "perfect site" should be listed in these also.

10) A "Perfect" site should have page one rankings on the major search engines.

11) A "Perfect" site should have good sales ability to it. That means having a good (popular) produce to sell, having a good sales pitch and a good closing pitch for why they should buy your product.

12) A "perfect" site should put out a newsletter. In this day and age of SPAM; you will want to have an email form on your site so that visitors can opt in to your newsletter. Be sure to include at the bottom of your newsletter a way for them to opt out.

13) A "perfect" site should include articles on the theme of the site. If the site is about Entertainment, then you should have articles about the Entertainment industry.

14) It's always a good idea to offer something for FREE on your website. That will make some visitors keep coming back, refer your site to a friend, bookmark your site, etc. You can offer everything from free software to free screensavers, etc.

15) A perfect site should have ALL of the site pages fully optimized and validated - not just the home page.

16) Last a "perfect" site is a TON of work and is NEVER really done.
  • gsv2com
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Post 3+ Months Ago

A perfect site is not made entirely in flash
A perfect site doesn't use 16kb of javascript for stupid stuff
A perfect site actually has a purpose
A perfect shopping site actually generates sales
A perfect site can be used by blind people and others with dissabilities.
(A perfect web designer actually takes into account that handicapped people DO use the internet)

Content, content, content. Much more important than flash and pizzaz--though fifty-seven would disagree. The internet is not tv. Nor is it the movies. The internet was built for easy access to information.

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