Most of us grew up with the mantra “measure twice, cut once” drilled into our brains — and for good reason. A little bit of planning in the beginning goes a long way toward saving you a lot of time, effort, and money later in your web-design process.
Just as you’d draft a blueprint before beginning to build a structure, the first step in web design is to organize all the site content into logical categories and subcategories, a process called information design. After you have the site’s structure worked out, you must dive into the page-level detail and create diagram-like plans called wireframes for each unique page layout. Then you test all this pre-planning with end-users to make sure it makes sense to them.
Because end-users are the final judge of a good site structure and design, Chapter 3 explores how to identify your target audience and then go about crafting your information design. Chapters 4 and 5 share techniques for optimizing usability. Finally, Chapter 6 shows you how to organize and conduct user tests to make sure your designs are on target.