I am sure that I am not alone when I say I am always looking at web sites for inspiration and current design trends. In one of my previous articles I talk about how it is important to place page elements such as search and navigation in the screen locations where people expect to find them. But how do you know what the standard position is without trawling through hundreds of web sites?
Fortunately I have discovered a site that takes a lot of the hard work out of the process: www.webdesignpractices.com
This site has analysed a cross section of web sites and provides statistical data to help answer a whole selection of common design questions. Just some of the issues it tackles are:
- Where is the most common location for the top level navigation of a web site?
- What is the standard size for a fixed width web site?
- Where is the site logo normally placed and does it normally also work as a link back to the home page?
- Where do most sites place their search functionality?
One word of caution however; this site does not aim to tell you what best practice is. It only communicates what the current trend is among web sites. It is down to you to judge whether that trend is a good one or not.