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Web Design Topics

Clever Web Designing Hints
By Maricon Williams

Some software tools are claiming that designing is easy as 123 and that they will ‘produce’ the pages for you. Unfortunately, a number of web designers are victimized by this marketing gimmick. The results are obvious. A number of operating systems have pages that are not seen properly by the intended surfers. Some are unreadable. Some are difficult to navigate. Most of them do not serve their purpose.

To help some amateur web designers out there, I have here a list of established rules of thumb in web designing. This may help you in creating functional and arty wed sites.

1. A picture is worth a thousand words thus, you need not stuff your page with a truckload of images. Pictures and images are used to enhance the page and not to mess it up. Bear in mind that less is beautiful.

The average time to load a page should not take longer than 5 seconds. If it’s longer than that, the surfers might click away elsewhere. Therefore, you must keep the page size less than 30k.

Each file on the page should have a separate HTTP request to the server. Lots of small images will slow down the loading. Other factors that contribute to the slowing down of the loading are the height and width attributes. Without these, the browser should wait for the image to download since it has no idea of how much space to leave for them.

2. Navigability and functionality come before artistic excellence. It is no use making your site a masterpiece of art if users cannot navigate around it.

3. Keep the web site simple.

4. Whenever your whole page is within a table the whole page cannot render until the whole table is downloaded. To remedy this, split the table into two and let the top one be a short table that displays only the page header and a small number of navigation links.

5. Stay away from all browser-specific functions. If a certain feature is supported by one browser, it will most definitely not be supported by another. Where you must use such features, it should not hinder the display of the page in the other browser which does not support such functionality.

6. Do not clutter the screen with new popup windows. An exception though, may be made for pages containing a links list. It is convenient in such cases to open links in another window, so that the user can come back to the links page easily.

7. Bear in mind the fonts-challenged users too. Font should therefore be readable. Stay clear of out-of-the-way hard-to-find fonts. Use simple fonts like Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, and Courier.

8. A new design trick that is increasingly being used on the web these days. It looks something like this: Home > Section > Subsection > Page

9. Use Java as a utilitarian programming language, not as a graphics front-end for your photos or images. There are various things you can do with Java but it doesn’t mean you’ll have to do it all. Java applets are known to run slower, so users experience certain lethargy in performance. And worse still, Java has been known to crash certain browsers.

10. Use META tags. Search Engines heavily rely upon the Keywords & Description Meta tags to populate their search database.

11. Write for all browsers, all resolutions, and all color-depths. If you show people pages that look best with their own browser and their own resolution that makes users feel ‘at home’, and you get a better response.

Web Designing is a combination of creative skills and technical prowess – and one is no less important than the other. A good web site on the other hand, is like an efficient frontline which can spell the difference between casual surfer and a potential customer. Web designers are tasked to yield benefits that will redound to the company. This is quite a hard task however you can always rely on both your skills and the right tools!

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About the Author
I love reading. Give me a book and I'll finish it in one sitting. Reading is the chance to be transported to a different world and so is writing.