Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Web design basics for teachers

  • Provide kids with lots of scaffolding. Think about how you teach kids to make a cake. You need the same amount of scaffolding to make a website. Learn together. Be directive. Talk through everything. Ask questions. Explain. This is the stuff of learning. 
  • The best software in the world is between your ears. You can make quality websites with simple equipment. It takes quality ideas.
  • The three most important things on a website are content, content and content.
  • Web builders underestimate the users need for information and overestimate the users desire for graphics.
  • Keep the design simple – it’s about the content not the container
  • Keep it small – even in the days of broadband small is still good. Repeat elements that have already been used and cached.
  • Don’t break the navigation rules (eg underline means a link so don’t underline other stuff, visited links are a different colour to un-visited links, don’t link a page to itself, make the link name clearly describe the destination page.)
  • Look at other people’s websites. What makes them good?
  • Learn a bit of code. Look at other people’s code (even borrow some).
  • Frames suck
  • Anything that flashes or scrolls sucks as well.
  • Anything that looks like a banner ad sucks
  • Websites are a form of publishing. Many of the same rules apply. Look at magazines. See what works and what doesn’t. 
  • Be very tidy. Organise your files carefully.
  • Get on board now. It will never be easier.
  • Remember: Content, content, content.
Whales NetGuide winning site from 2002
Hot Air Balloons TVNZ NetGuide winning site from 2008

For the Nelson ICT Cluster seminar - April 2009