[tpm] So I've got an idea for a web site ..

Stuart Watt stuart at morungos.com
Tue Dec 18 08:54:02 PST 2012

My nutshell advice for UX -- feel free to ignore. 

1. Visually, you won't go very far wrong using Bootstrap as a base theme. It looks OK, is up and running fast, and is fairly easy to customize later. You also get into some good habits for HTML and CSS.
2. Don't let a graphic artist control user interface design. They can do conceptual work early (this can be inspiring) and refine the visual side as you go, but they aren't users, and left in control of UX, they have a habit of producing stuff that is pretty in parts, and unusable in others. 
2. If you plan to code more than about two pages, draw mockups by hand (or if you are feeling advanced and have time to spare, use a tool like Balsamiq, even Powerpoint). Then use a cognitive walkthrough, e.g.: http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/thusu/opinnot/kaytarv/artikkelit/p235-lewis.pdf. The form in this paper is a great tool for thinking through each step. This is a great usability tool, in that it helps you think your way into a user's point of view, without needing to actually be a user. I've trained folks on this method, and I've found it one of the fastest and easiest for developers to use, as it helps them start to see what a system is like from someone else's point of view, and generates a lot of useful feedback in a short time. 


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