Javascript – Choosing the right design for a website?


I'm a programmer (hobbyist, but looking to make it a career) by nature so when I was asked to design a website I felt a little out of place (most of my applications don't have pretty UI's, they just work because I'm the only one using them). I have been looking into how I could design my website and started wondering how you guys decide.

What guidelines can you guys give me? What should I consider before I start coding?

Best Solution

It's pretty hard to sum up the whole field of UI design in an answer.

Make the most common tasks the easiest. Figure out what people will want to do, and make that as intuitive and straightforward as possible. Don't make them think.

Make mockups and prototypes. Watch people try to use them (watch, don't help them), and fix things that they found awkward. Your first attempt at a design isn't right, don't be too opposed to throwing it away.

There's really so much to this field that it can't be explained to anyone easily. Designing is no less complex than programming, but many programmers seem to look at it as an afterthought for some reason. Try some creative googling for design principles, especially as they apply to the web. Look at sites you consider well-designed and try to figure out why they feel that way to you.