I love a catchy headline! via Ned, this is a good, to the point, article about good web design. If you are one of those developers with no sense of style, then this quick read will get you on track, even if you don't see the difference between 12pt and 14pt fonts (or, at least, aren't bothered by having both in the same sentence).
How C.R.A.P is Your Site Design?
The acronym stands for Contrast Repetition Alignment Proximity. I would add Simplicity to that list, making it C.R.A.P.S. You can take that any way you like! The idea for me is to understand what the user is after in visiting your site, whether it's to read the news, do a search, or to buy something. These design guidelines help achieve those goals and don't let the design get in the way of the message (unless you want it to, of course).
I would be interested in how people apply these principles to a portal design scenario. For instance, as you add portlets to a page, it can really mess with the Alignment principle, when you have the portlet title bar and different content within each portlet body. The only solution might be to limit the number of portlets, or design the page so that you have a navigation area on the left or top, then a large area for content, and perhaps a smaller column on the side for narrow content. Any more columns than that for portlets and you run into a messy looking page. Thoughts?
As an aside, I wish he would have included, as a guideline, the annoying tendency these days for site designers to think that we really want to look at half a page worth of graphics, navigation, and banners, but no content, at the top of a page. If your banner takes up more than about 100 pixels at the top, you need to change it.
That's it for now - enjoy the article.
Sr. Product Manager, Application Development Tools
Design Tips: C.R.A.P