Breaking The Rules of Web Design

via The Hot Strudel

Interesting article over at Web Designer Depot called “10 Web Design Rules You Can Break.” The examples are quite interesting and inspiring. Horizontal scrolling and mystery meat navigation? Why not!

I disagree with the fundamental premise of the article though: ALL so-called design rules can be broken–not just these 10. This is a point I try to make in Designing Web Navigation.

From the preface of my book:

Web navigation design is a craft. You must employ creative problem solving skills to arrive at a practical solution by considering and examining different possibilities. Intuition plays as much as a role as skill, experience, and science. Rarely is there a single, optimal solution. As with any design practice, navigation design is about balance, tradeoffs, and exploring alternatives. For this reason, you won’t find all the answers in this book. Instead, I offer a systematic approach to the problems of navigation design. Navigation design is really about asking the right questions at the right time.

If design were ever about following rules, you could conceivably create an algorithm that generates a web design. That’s not how it works. You have to use your brain.

Also, the Web Designer Depot article provides a lot of examples, but doesn’t qualify them as successful or not. That’s the real measure of a good design, in my opinion: does it help reach the ultimate goals of the site? It’s the only “rule” you shouldn’t break.

About Jim Kalbach

Head of Customer Experience at MURAL


  1. Smartly written, cheers! (Now going to read the article about the rules I can break! :))

  2. In a perfect world we would never have any rules to break other than the rule that we can break rules in web design. Oh, wait, thats impossible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: