5 New Year’s Resolutions for Web Designers

It’s 2010! A new year is a great time for a fresh start, which explains why so many of us make (and try desperately to keep!) New Year’s Resolutions- and they always amount to striving to be better at something.

If you’re a web designer or developer, here are five Resolutions that just might make you a better one this year:

  1. Cleaner code: proper indentations and comments.
    Strive to always use proper indentations and intelligent commenting in your code. Yes, I know that this requires extra effort, but it’s worth it. Trust me- you’ll be thanking yourself later when you have to edit some code you haven’t seen in six months.
  2. Less flash, more interactivity.
    I personally would be glad if flash movie “intros” completely disappeared from the web. When you visit a new site, do you want to sit through a few seconds of some flashy animation and bad GarageBand loops? Or is your hand on your mouse, looking for something to read or download or comment on? Web users are a lot more sophisticated these days- they understand that the internet isn’t like television.
  3. Keep ASAP: As Semantic As Possible.
    When you name your HTML and CSS parts semantically, it becomes easier to make changes in the future. Resist the urge to name that column on the left “left-column”. What if you decided to move the column over to the right? You’d have to change all instances of “left-column” to “right-column” (the more semantic, and smarter, choice in this case would be “column”).
  4. Think ahead.
    Keep in mind that content on the web is always changing. If, for example, you’re creating an original WordPress theme for a client, consider adding support for embedded videos and/or music files. Even if your client won’t be using it now, doesn’t mean he won’t want to do so in the future. Try as much as possible to cover all bases, and future-proof your designs and code.
  5. Speed things up.
    People are busier than ever, and don’t have time to sit around waiting for pages to load. Make it your policy to optimize, optimize, optimize. Remove unnecessary files and plug-ins from your servers, regularly optimize your databases, and learn how to optimize your images properly so they load as quickly as possible.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

  1. By Chris Thurman posted on January 4, 2010 at 9:58 pm
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    Clean and easy tasks to focus on. Good points! I actually wrote my (anti) New Years Resolutions in a recent post. While they were all focused on what I will not do, I addressed semantic coding as being imperative. Thanks for your list!

  2. By webdesign santa monica posted on January 13, 2010 at 2:14 pm
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    No 2. I def agree with. I get so annoyed when I see flash intros that take forever to load. If I wanted to watch a movie I would get a DVD!

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