New Web Design Principles

Ellyssa Kroski presented her views on information design for the new Web. After showing some really busy web designs from six or seven years ago, she moved on to explain that the new web requires changes in information design that reflect the fact that the user experience is changing, there are changes in the way people consume information, and there are changes in technology.

Her three principles were that your web design should be simple, social, and provide alternative navigation.

Simple means leaving off functions and functionality to make it easy for the user. It’s a design that requires no software, no manual, and no registration. The two trends regarding social are the socialization of media and creating applications and social for social’s sake. The former requires commenting, rating & reviewing, send to a friend, share applications, subscribe, and save for later with bookmarks. Social for social’s sake is things like Facebook and Ning. Alternative navigation involves a lot of visualization and navigating by user; tag cloud; the top or most popular, emailed, searched, blogged, etc.; the zeitgeist; related information; weaving in, out and around web sites; heat maps; relationship maps; time tools; digg’s swarm information; maps; widgets; and mashups.

Her final words of advice: Evolve, be nimble, be open.

Marydee Ojala

Editor, ONLINE: The Leading Magazine for Information Professionals

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