Dictionary.com describes a website as a “group of pages on the World Wide Web regarded as a single entity”. The design of the website can make or break the content.
Successful websites have copy that is easy to read. The content is proofread to have no errors and broken up by using a hierarchy. The content is broken up into small understandable paragraphs, the important elements have the same weight put on them and the length is about two screens worth. The images are not scaled down by using the width and height elements and the images are clear. The Duckpin Design blog has their most recent, and therefore, most relevant work on top and the paragraphs are short. If the user wants to see more then they can click on the image, which is also sized correctly. Len the Plumber also has a successful website because all of the important information is designed in the same way. It is all blue and the paragraphs are gray. Their paragraphs are also very short.
Bad website design has type in all caps and large blocks of text in italics. They also center a lot of text and over emphasize important information (different font, all caps, and bold). They have distracting background graphics like Yale’s wiki-style art department page. Yale’s page, because anyone with an account can edit it, has graphics that do not make sense for the purpose of the page, the colors are ridiculous, and content that is not formatted correctly. Bad websites also do not have consistent formatting like in Suzanne Collin’s (author of the Hunger Games trilogy) page. Her sidebar has bolded, all-caps AND blue colored text. Her pictures also do not align with each other for consistency. Website designs also should not have button-like images that are not clickable, and they should avoid the “under construction” pages. They should also avoid using a bright white on a black background, but Duckpin Design’s website avoids that by having gray type on a dark gray background.
Below is a screenshot of the ever changing Yale School of Art page.