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What are some core elements of great web design?

Things like speed, layout, etc... Can we determine a something from the community for what we have all tried and works?

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............ Care to comment on that downvote? – Incognito Aug 25 '10 at 21:07
    
I didn't downvote but this question sounds incredibly vague to me... – DisgruntledGoat Aug 26 '10 at 17:07
    
Well there's lists all over the place of elements of web design, regular design, what abstractions make things "good". everybodygoto.com/2007/04/12/10-elements-of-web-design-today Of course there is the element of expairmentation leading to new things, but I'm asking about previously attempted things that have worked. For example, what may make a good UI is following fitt's law, high-contrast colours, etc... – Incognito Aug 26 '10 at 17:35
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think your best bet is reading the books on Jeff Atwood's reading list that deal with web design.

Beyond that to me it is all about:

  1. Elegant layouts
  2. Speed
  3. Low number of bugs
  4. Elegant layouts
  5. Elegant layouts
  6. Elegant layouts
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  1. Valid markup - so you know it works in all browser past, present, and future (bugs excluded of course)
  2. Lean code - less code means faster page loading and usually faster rendering
  3. Usability - it may look pretty but if I can't figure out how it works I'm leaving
  4. Accessibility - disabled people use the web, too
  5. Flexible - it works on screens and devices large and small
  6. No unnecessary content or gimmicks
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