Criteria for Best Website Practices

For Pika Perspectives, our criteria for best website practices include:
(Scroll down for a downloadable .pdf version of this information.)
Many would agree that for websites to be successful, they must be developed with the user in mind. Navigation, then, is a key criterion for best website practices. When building websites, one should keep in mind the ease to which a user can follow the content of the webpage.
Effective websites strive to be accessible for their users. When thinking about accessibility, designers should consider testing their website and evaluating the use of graphics and visuals by different user groups. Design considerations should include differently-abled persons, as well as children and the elderly.
Successful websites make their information and intentions known to their users. Clarity is persuasive and builds credibility. The faster and more easily a user is able to grasp a website's content, the more likely it is that the user will seriously consider the website's purpose and message.
As a visual text, a website relies on its design to convey credibility as well.  "Design" can mean both the overall mapping of site navigation and the layout of different elements on a page. We focus on design from this second perspective: the layout of page elements, color scheme, images, and readability.

Any type of communication, whether online, print, or face-to-face, should be accurate. Communicators have an ethical responsibility to be truthful, precise, and timely in the information that they present to their audience. Accuracy is a major contributor to building credibility as well.

How do the organizations behind a website make themselves known? How is their ethos, or credibility, made transparent? It is important for an organization that makes strong claims about climate change to stand behind those claims and make themselves known to their audiences.

Stacey D,
Dec 1, 2009, 10:51 AM