Twentieth – to be the best….

For this class, I was reading about CSS tricks and the comparative experience of designing a site with CSS and CSS3. These readings perfectly complement yesterday’s class: we made our first quasi-website! However, they only remotely connect with this assignment: Say your site never shows up on one of those ‘Best Designed’ lists. Can it be considered successful? Say it doesn’t show up in the top ten of page results for Google searches. Can it be considered successful? How do you determine what makes a site ‘good?’
I always watch the home page of wordpress.com promoting “The best of 473,903 bloggers,784,571 new posts, 1,370,769comments, & 166,770,935 words posted today on WordPress.com.” But I have no idea, what the criteria are, if there are at all. Is there a committee, or one person, or a group whose members vote independently every day about the best of over three quarters of a million posts? Unlike the way wordpress.com makes its choices, the two criteria in the assignment sound much more tangible, however, not in a similar way.
Being on a ‘Best Designed’ list says as much of a site as of those who make the decision of what qualifies best design. Does every judge think about the correlation between look and content? Do some people look for sophistication instead of originality? Is thinking inside the box and yet sticking out from the line the key to become a successful designer? In my opinion, all these can qualify as the ultimate receipt, and yet, I do not consider any of them the secret of winning prizes exactly because design is ultimately a subjective field. Even by reconstructing taste into a long algorithm cannot make the decisions about the best design either logical or consistent in the long run. We see it every day: what works for a news site, does not necessarily work for a site selling bags, and what works in one part of the world does not necessarily resonate with the viewers in another part of the globe. What I see interesting might bore my neighbor and yet could excite my uncle. (Whom I have not seen for two decades. Hence the ‘could.’)
In contrast, topping the Google search list has much more to do with experience and a little luck in coding. Choosing the right meta key words is only part of the job. Adding good keyword bottoms to the header, body, and footer, or to the navigation bar, wherever it is placed, can help the site to jump to the top of the list. As much as it is a question of quantity (number of sections of the site that allows search engines to examine them) it is also a question of quality. In the case of “web-searchability,” as in many other situations, rightly chosen words can make, if not miracles, than, huge differences, for sure.
And all this has a lot to do with how the site, both the content and the visuals are coded. But ineffective coding or a code that takes longer to be completed, and even if the file downloads slower than those in CSS3, does not hinder a site to become one of the best designed or easily found by the search engine.

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