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How Do You Create A Timeless Web Design?

The thought experiment that CSS Tricks' Chris Coyier came up with is an interesting one. How do you create a timeless website design for a website that is meant to last forever?

By the Way, the Website Has to Run Unchanged For 10 Years!”

Have you ever considered this? I am going to admit it, I have not. Chris Coyier asks himself, and us, how a website has to look when the client desires to run them without any changes for a minimum of ten years. Looking at the constantly stabilising best practices, this query may not be that uncommon sooner or later. Let's have a look at which results we can come up with together.

Chris Coyier lists totally different designer types that may react to the fictional client's uncommon request in very different ways. At one end of the spectrum, there's the designer that deems any sort of format and design pointless and believes that a simple HTML text is absolutely enough. On the other hand, there are the designers that will decline the request straight away.

Most of us would in all probability be someplace in between and take into consideration what's required to provide an up to date design, and what might be forgone. When occupied with it in-depth, we will get to utterly totally different ideas.

Deterring Example: the Million Dollar Homepage

A few days ago, I read a fascinating article by the Library Innovation Lab, which dealt with the popular million dollar homepage. I am sure you remember the web site where every single pixel was sold to provide the operator with 1,000,000 dollars in the end.

On 1,000 x 1,000 pixels, at a value point of 1 dollar per pixel, prospects were in a position to buy a spot to place their adverts. The venture made waves in 2005. The operator easily made the planned million dollars in a pretty short amount of time.

Today, 12 years later, the million dollar homepage nonetheless exists, although it looks like a relic of the past. One of the reasons for this is that there was no design guideline. This could not lead to something but a very random design. Beneath this aspect, we shouldn't even judge the undertaking.

The striking thing is something else. It's the truth that more than half of the 3000 hyperlinks on the page can't be accessed anymore. Nearly 600 hyperlinks lead into the online nirvana, and the others result in partially suspicious redirects.

Thus, the million dollar homepage's use is not solely reduced for the visitors, however for the former pixel buyers also.

What does this inform us about selling a client website that may be run for at least 10 years without any changes?

Requirements For Sustainable Websites

It's pretty obvious. We've got to avoid links that do not originate from our client's hyperlink cosmos. And even then, we've to ensure that the client remembers to regulate the inner hyperlinks every time he makes modifications.

We also have to forgo external resources, as we do not have an influence on the everlasting availability of these elements. As alluring as it may seem, we should always avoid integrating exterior scripts from web repositories or communicated CDN places. As a substitute, transfer required resources to the client's web site, and combine them locally. However, ensure that the scripts do not reference external sources. Prepare for a bit of labor.

It's additionally essential to consider which functions won't be accessible in the future. Fortunately, features that depend as deprecated, might be recognised relatively simply.

In this context, using frameworks is not recommendable either. The brand new React or Vue is sure to be an issue in ten years. Vanilla JavaScript should be safe though.

What to do about fonts? Typography is a fairly necessary design element. Coyier factors out that it is older than internet design itself, so it should not be one of the expendable design components. So, let's use fonts. But, once again, save and integrate them locally. As a substitute of the older WOFF format, we will use WOFF2 to integrate a sure sustainability.

The only pattern that we can rely on for this project is minimalism. A minimum of, it includes the modest use of animations. I'd solely use the latter with regards to micro interactions.

In the future, we will most likely nonetheless depend on SVG as our graphic technology. This manner, we don't depend upon resolutions. Jpg and Png will nonetheless run the scene in ten years. WebP wasn't able to set up itself thus far, and it most likely will not achieve this sooner or later.

Generally, we do have to admit that we are able to only create a timeless website when it would not have to provide advanced functionality. I might decline a request for a web based shop that has to run unchanged for 10 years. An internet business card or another purely representative presence shouldn't be an issue although, as long as the above-talked about necessities are met.



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