The Three Elements of Web Design: Forms, Links, and Content
When it comes right down to it, the web is just forms, links, and content. The next time you're starting a new design project, take a different approach -- think about how you can create value for a user with only those three elements.
Begin your next design project by bulleting out every content piece on a separate line. Try to think of each piece of content as a meaningful directive and look at it from a user's point of view -- What should I, the user, do with this content?
Now turn those answers into form elements that capture ideas. List all other pages you think might be relevant to this one, then create a list of links that utilize the names of these pages.
Can you create a meaningful page from all this information? If not, you might rethink what you're trying to do on the page, because some splashy imagery will only bring superficial completion to that page for your users.
Let's stop thinking we're trying to create something novel every time we design a new website. While "creative vision" has it's place on the web, if a user can't get something accomplished through actions on a page, then you need to do more with your design thinking.
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