Designing a website for a state is a challenging task.
It involves a lot of thinking, a lot more than just choosing a design style, and there’s often a lot to think about.
A new project by a team at Boise State University aims to simplify the process.
They have come up with a simple checklist of the things you should keep in mind when designing a website, and they’re making it available for download.
“I think we’re trying to create a kind of checklist for what you should be doing when designing for the state,” said Kyle Stadler, a UI design graduate student and one of the project’s creators.
Stadling said his team spent two months thinking about how to create the checklist.
They created a free online template for the checklist, and are working on a free version for use by anyone.
Stadsl said it’s important to have a checklist for the site you want to target, and it should be clear how it works in the context of the state.
“I think that the way we think about things in a state like Idaho is that we have a lot in common with the states that we live in,” Stadsler said.
“There’s a lot that’s really important that we don’t get distracted by.”
In this case, Stadsland said, “we’re trying not to overthink things.”
Idaho has the fifth-highest population of any state in the U.S. and has one of America’s largest and most diverse populations of people living in rural areas.
The state has more than 400 counties, about one-third of the nation’s total.
“You can think of the Idaho landscape as a giant map of the world,” Stadland said.
Idaho has a rich history of mining, and its population has grown steadily for decades.
Idaho is one of only two states with a population over 500,000, and many of its rural counties have struggled to attract new businesses.
The population of the Great Salt Lake County, which includes Boise, has shrunk by about 70 percent since 1990, according to the U-M Lassonde Center for Rural Development.
A study by the UPMC Center for the Study of Rural America found that about 70,000 people are living in the Great Basin counties of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, while about 7,000 are living farther from the border in Wyoming and about 6,000 in Idaho.
The Great Basin region has seen a dramatic decline in the last 10 years.
“We’re losing people, we’re losing jobs, and we’re moving into a new economy that is really different from the one that existed before the Great Recession,” Stadiels said.
Stadiel said the goal of the site is to provide a checklist to help people understand what they need to know to create an effective design for their website.
“Our goal is to help them make decisions based on information that they have already gotten,” Stetsl said.
He said it is important to be sure that you don’t overthink your design.
“The best thing you can do is think about what’s really useful and what’s not,” Stadicels said, noting that design decisions often need to be made in the light of the community and the people who live there.
“It’s really easy to get caught up in the information, and that can lead to decisions that you might not make for the best use of your time,” he said.
One of the first tasks for the students was to determine what types of sites could be best suited for the area.
“What is the most relevant type of information?”
The first step in determining which types of websites are most relevant is to look at the demographics of the area and how the surrounding population has changed.
For instance, if a site is being used in a rural area, it might be more appropriate for a rural community that is mostly white and middle-aged, he said, or for a large metropolitan area that is heavily Latino and white.
The site should also be designed to be relevant to the area, said Stads, and ideally, it should not be offensive to people who don’t live in the area or who have a disability.
If the site’s design is not culturally appropriate for the community, it can also be a mistake.
“If you design a site for a site that is just going to offend people, then you might want to change it, but if you’re designing for a website that is going to be very successful and you’re going to generate traffic for the business, you might as well stick with what’s already here,” Stadds said.
For each type of site, the students found that there were three common mistakes.
“Don’t put too much emphasis on the word ‘design,'” Stads said.
Instead, focus on creating the experience.
“That should be something you think about very early on,” he added.