Web Design Checklists: Why Every Web Designer Must Customize Them
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Web Design Checklists: Why Every Web Designer Must Customize Them

By Mainak Biswas November 21, 2012 - 1,327 views

Designing a website is not all about making the pages appear rich and attractive, but it is also about making them load faster. A good website needs a lot of planning before being published, and one of them is to have a rough checklist. Web design checklists are a list of to dos and to not dos, which give a designer a semblance of direction. A good designer knows in his heart that one mustn’t design website based on strict rules centred on checklists. Instead, these checklists must be seen as crutches that support a design process until the skeleton is built. Once the plan is ready, creativity must be used as much as possible.

Why Web Design Checklists Are Important

Moreover, checklists for different kinds of websites are again different. No single checklist can solve all the problems a designer might have, and no single checklist is enough to make sure that a website will be perfect. Nevertheless, web design checklists offer a framework of notions, which turn out to be true in most cases. Web design checklist helps in understanding existing competition and check what sort of coding similar websites have used. Checklists also help in making sure that a website is going to turn out differently from existing ones, including those that compete with it directly.

Checklists Help Form a Skeletal Notion

Checklists can help in determining the purpose of a website, and offer a skeletal framework of what the pages should be built around. Certain things to consider before building a website is to check if the website is going to offer ecommerce, or if it is going to be an informative site or something else altogether. Another issue that a checklist might help in is to determine what sort of interactive features a site would offer, and how far the designer could go in order to offer such interactive features.

Checklists help in deciding whether thumbnails must be used, or full images must load depending on teh context of the website. A good checklist also helps in building categories, tags and pages. Without one, it is possible to get lost in a sea of codes and structures. Most importantly, a checklist determines how a website is going to look and how it would feel to end-users. Once the basic items in the checklist are written off, one may consider extra features such as custom graphics, flash and even 3D.

Checklists also help in determining if the domain should be a .com, a .net or something else altogether. Checklists help in organizing a website and making sure that it loads fast. This is because visitors have a very short span of attention and a site that does not load fast or a site that is not visually attractive risks losing the visitors’ attention. In other words, by adhering to a customised checklist, one could make sure that a website is accessible, interactive and fast.

Moreover, checklists can be customised for each client and web designers would have the option of making sure each field has been confirmed with the client. Confirming different entities of a website with the help of a checklist before actually building it, helps in saving time and unnecessary confusions. If one looked around the web, there are several websites that offer ‘essential checklists’ for web designers. Each checklist would be the best way to work for a particular designer, at a particular time.

Few Web Design Checklists

When web designers look for checklists for themselves, it is advisable to look around for several checklists and customize one for themselves, depending on what the client requests.  Here are a few web design checklists that we found were worthy.

  • MaxDesign offers a checklist that help designers to understand what web standards they must keep in mind while designing a website.
  • Robin Williams’ Typographic Rules could be a great checklist to make sure that text appears clean and minimalist.
  • Jason Dewinetz has a checklist of book typography with Adobe Minion Pro in mind.
  • Marta Eleniak has listed an Essential Navigation Checklist for web designers.
  • At, we found a very helpful checklist for Usability Forms. Brian Crescimanno’s Sensible Forms is a great checklist for form usability as well.
  • ToolBox has a neat GUI Screen Design checklist, put together by Craig Borysowich. Bazman has another similar checklist for GUI testing.
  • Aaron Cannon’s Web Accessibility Checklist is honest and inspiring, as he notes that no single checklist can be perfect, including his.
  • InsideCRM published an interesting Webmaster’s Turbo Kit that holds more than 50 tips and resources to ameliorate speed and performance of websites.
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