I designed my first website about seven years ago. I loved every pixel of it… every image, menu, link and each of the over 30 different colours I managed to squeeze into my layout. There was just one problem…

DESIGNING FOR APPEARANCES vs DESIGNING FOR FUNCTIONALITY I originally came from a graphics background. I had spent years designing company brochures and pamphlets, posters and restaurant menus. In each case, rich colours and glitz and glamour were a pre-requisite. webdesignmash.com It was heresy to ever consider sending out a piece of artwork on a plain white background!

When i designed my first website, I naturally brought my old talent and habits with me, but as fish are not so adept out of water… I soon realized the web industry was not quite the same as my graphics past.

When Google launched its bare bones, plain look, I discovered a new love: Zen design principles. I was taken in by the simplistic, minimalist approach and since casting away my photoshop and coreldraw applications, can report I am now a fully fledged aficionado of simple.. functional design principles.

Long gone are the ‘heavy’, flashy, perhaps even showy, overly intricate menus… in their place, simple intuitive links. Gone are the tens of colour variation, replaced by 2 or 3 colours per template page.. and happily, I must admit, I no longer stick 3MB background images on every page I design… I turned over a new leaf!

COMMON MISTAKES IN WEB DESIGN- Most web designers are too focused on showcasing their CSS, XHTML and layout skills they forget the reason people visit sites in the first place: To use.. not to look. Sites are too often designed without clear navigation that users can actually utilize to access their desired content, be it news, galleries or feedback pages.

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