Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The secret of good design

Do you want to know what I consider to be the secret of good web design? Assuming that the user is always right. By that, I mean:

  • Allowing the user to use any web browser to view your page, and allowing that page to render properly in whatever browser.
  • Not insisting on a specific screen size or colour depth
  • If the user wants to use a text-to-speech browser, or wants to be able to print your content out, you should let them
  • They should be allowed to use the right-mouse button too.
  • If they want to block popups and other advertising, again, you should not try to circumvent common methods of blocking these. Avoid popups if you can though.
  • Your pages should load quickly, even on the slowest connections.

This may seem obvious but I still see far too many sites which don’t grasp this concept. If you’re a business, every user is a potential customer and therefore your site should not annoy them. Doing the above should permit that.

Early morning rant over and out.


  1. Completely agreed.
    When doing XHTML/CSS though, it’s hard to stick to proper CSS and still get it displaying properly in IE, in my experience… I wish CSS support would be done properly in IE.

  2. I’ve been doing web design since 1995, and these are things I’ve always believed in. Its amazing to see that people still have to be told these things. I think its all because of shoddy WYSIWYG editors, badly written “HTML for Dummies” books and silly Javascript websites.

  3. I manage a few of these goals, but I’m sure I violate a few too.
    I admit it, I’m a total HTML hack.