Is there a website that highlights good web design?
July 31, 2004 7:54 PM   Subscribe

I know about Web pages that Suck. But is there anywhere that highlights examples of good web design and goes over their features? Most of the pages I've seen offer obvious guidelines like "make sure the text is readable" and "don't be incredibly annoying" -- but how do you make, for example, a long annotated list of recommended reading that isn't overbearingly dense?

(I mean, I've figured out the list-readability thing, for the most part. But it would be nice if advice of this type was widely available.)
posted by Tlogmer to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Check out AListApart
posted by geekyguy at 9:04 PM on July 31, 2004

A List Apart isn't quite what I'm looking for, but I agree; it's great.
posted by Tlogmer at 2:14 AM on August 1, 2004

37 signals has a excellent book called Defensive design for the web. there blog also points out good links or resources from time to time.

The book does cater to more business/ecommrace design pitfalls but I have found it useful.
posted by Dreamghost at 3:12 AM on August 1, 2004

AListApart and 37 signals website also totally suck.

HELLO. I like to use my browser at a variety of widths. If the lines of text are too long, *I'll* resize them to suit *me* and what *I* like. It isn't a newspaper. You don't have to make an "average" person happy. You should try to let me make myself comfortable.

Doing the old "force you to run at my resolution" trick is #1 in the book of shitty webdesign, IMHO.

(sorry, but it annoys me!)

Otherwise, they're good. :-D
posted by shepd at 3:20 AM on August 1, 2004

something called The Daily Standards (or some such) shows good, standard-based web design. Or the evolt / webdesign-L lists have good critiques for those who write in and ask for criticism.
posted by Pericles at 6:19 AM on August 1, 2004

Doesn't have much about standards or "correct" design or anything, but CoolHomepages has a wealth of design examples from glossy, often-corporate sites. The site has been around for a long time and is much more commercial than it used to be, but it at least saves from having to go visit the sites contained within separately.
posted by Hankins at 7:41 AM on August 1, 2004

The Yale Web Style guide is what you are looking for. For an index of usability links (though a bit stale) try the usable web.
posted by xammerboy at 8:36 AM on August 1, 2004

It's very easy to point out usability or design "errors" and very hard to point out what's good, or working. For one thing, good design online is awfully hard to do, and for another thing, any design decision is always a trade-off. There is almost never a situation where there is a design solution in the absolutist sense.

Keeping that in mind, some readability guidelines include the following. (1) Make text 12 font size. (2) Make text scannable (sans-serif font). (3) Line length should ideally be between 60-70 letters per line. (4) The space between one line of type and the next should be 1,5 to 2 times the space between words on a line. (5) Ensure high contrast between page background and type. (6) Break up long pages of text with graphics (at the same time - avoid overdoing it - just give users a sense of place as they scroll through pages.

Finally, if its a lot of annoted text, give users the ability to print it out - most people prefer not to read a lot of text online.

Also, read ">this article from, and do a Google search on "readability guidelines".
posted by xammerboy at 8:58 AM on August 1, 2004

Good stuff. Thanks.
posted by Tlogmer at 12:24 PM on August 1, 2004

Theban mapping project is a an example of good web design.
posted by BigCalm at 3:54 AM on August 2, 2004

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