Web Design Sampler

toward developing a personal aesthetic

This page has been designed to introduce beginning Web publishers to a few aspects of the art. As with all arts, the finer points are personal, so this Sampler targets helping you find your own aesthetic and encouraging you to create your own style. Examples of what you don't want to do also appear (the famous "non-examples" of concept learning). Have fun, agree, disagree, rant and rave.


1 - Looking at Style Guides
The Yale Web Style Manual

  1. Browse the Style Manual.

  2. Select one aspect to focus on.

  3. Create a Personal Style Guide List to write down three things that you want to remember about this aspect of Web publishing.


2 - Web Page Design
Jakob Nielsen's Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design and "Top Ten Mistakes" Revisited Three Years Later
  1. Browse the list of ten.
  2. Which of the ten do you actually like?
  3. Why would others (Nielsen) not like it?

3 - Web Page Design
Graphic Design 100 and Well-balanced Page and Menu Designs

  1. Browse the two pages.

  2. Find one aspect that you agree with and one that you may not agree with.

  3. Add these to your Personal Style Guide List.


4 - Sucky Web Pages
Top 10 Ways to Tell if You Have a Sucky Homepage or Sucky to Savvy, both by Jeff Glover or How to Build Lame Web Sites by Web Developer's Journal

  1. Browse Glover's list of ten or his tutorial.

  2. Choose two aspects that you agree are sucky and two that might have a place on a Web page.

  3. Add these to your Personal Style Guide List.

5 - Hits and Misses
Web Pages That Suck, posted by Vincent Flanders'

  1. Explore Flanders' Web site looking at both "hits" and "misses."

  2. Take some time to look closely at one site that really strikes you (for good or ill).

  3. Add these insights to your Personal Style Guide List.


6 - Animated Gifs
Animated Gifs Gallery

  1. Explore the Web site.

  2. Look for Rants you hate or Raves you love

  3. Come to a decision about when or how animated Gifs should be used (add this to your Style Guide).