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A Shaker Approach to Web Site Design

Michael D. Levi


As World Wide Web deployment (both over the Internet and through institutional intranets) continues to explode, developers are uncovering the myriad design possibilities and trade-off that accompany this technology. Site designers must make decisions ranging from what content should be included, to the overall organization and sequence of pages, to placement and style of text, graphics, and buttons. Ultimately, the difference between a useful site and a frustrating one will be determined by the coherence of the developer's vision. In this paper the author draws on the Shaker ideals of simplicity, elegance, and quality to present a philosophy of Web site design based on the principles of Human-Computer Interaction and his view of Web site creation as a software development process. The paper discusses a taxonomy of Web sites and Web users, addresses the importance of a user-centered design perspective, and presents a set of usability principles tailored to Web systems.