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Web Basics





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Web Basics—Good Design

While every web site is different, there are some guidelines everyone should follow to ensure a minimal level of good design. These basics are not dependent on the quality of your artwork or your skill as an artist. Checking these items off as you complete your pages will ensure you are creating a professional-looking web site that is clean and legible.

General Rules

 Create a thumbnail (or layout or sketch) of your main pages BEFORE you turn on the computer.

 Maintain a consistent look throughout your site.

Graphics/Images (PhotoShop/ImageReady Rules)

 Use the correct file format--GIFs for solid shapes and simple colors, JPEGs for photographs or things with shading.

 Keep the image sizes small--compress, compress, compress.

 Reuse images to save the user time.

 Don't scale images in HTML.

 Use animated GIFs only when necessary.

 DON'T have things blink!

Dreamweaver Rules

 Design with a grid in mind. Create the most simple table possible.

 The background should be light (white) and copy should be dark (black) subtle doesn't work and is hard on the eyes.

 Use the default link colors (or shades in the same family).

 Every page should have a title, the company logo (which should link back to the home page, an e-mail link and the web address.

 Every page should have validity--author name, company name, copyright information, privacy statement (if gathering info) and a revision date.

 Don't design web sites for only one browser, platform, or plug-in.

 Don't say "This site designed for..." The site is designed for your user--whatever platform or browser he is using.

 Avoid excessive graphics, navigation, banners and other distractions that unnecessary and annoying.

Create universally accessible web pages.

 Use the <ALT> tag to describe images on a site.

 Name nonessential graphical element " " (a spacebar press in the ALT window in Dreamweaver) so screen readers will skip reading them.

 Style Sheets: Use them. Because they are good and because you should (and they make your life 1000 times easier.

 Don't have any links that say "click here".

Not everyone has a 21" monitor

 Keep you pages short if material is designed to be read online.

 Keep your pages narrow (no wider than 535 pixels) for material that may be printed.

 Keep your most important information "above the fold" (in the first 295 pixels).


 Proofread and spell-check every page.

 Keep pages under 34K (this page is 21K)

.pdf fileweb_basics.pdf


© Copyright 2003 | Something Graphic | 20 November, 2003

Contact me:learn@CognitiveHorizons.com