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leanne m.e. wilson
 

over the past couple of years, i've managed a team of designers and have also worked with numerous clients. from these interactions, i've learned a lot more about myself, but more specifically, about how i feel about design. here are some of those thoughts:

— assess your audience. design for the user, not for the sake of design. keep in mind the user experience with each element you place on the page. users assess whether to stay with a site within 9 seconds; help them with their decision by presenting them with a well-designed page that is easy to navigate.

— don't design in a void; notice the trends in design in the world around you. integrate and innovate.

— in addition to solid information architecture and well-written content, design is an integral part of the front end of a site. without strong design, users may never make it to the incredible functionality. that is, when i think about design, i think that the following elements go hand in hand: information architecture - or the blueprint and layout of the site information, design - the visual form of the site, and programming - the functionality on the site. to ignore one, is to inevitably create a unbalanced site... which leads to an unsuccessful site.

— make sure you can defend each design decision you make. educate the clients about the choices you made, listen to their feedback, and assess how it will impact the design. consider them a partner in the process; not the enemy.

— keep it classic, keep it simple.

— consistency is key in navigation. introduce a familiar navigational scheme, and then keep with it throughout the site. don't throw users a curve-ball; competition is only a click away.

— test. test. test.

- 'when the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art' - leonardo da vinci.