Designing by Numbers -- Statistics and No Lies!

Written by Pamela Heywood


Continued from page 1

Another way is to get SilverThingy from Sausage Software "Test Web pages in a number of screen configurations. Using either Internet Explorer or Netscape you are able to preview your Web pages inrepparttar three popular screen resolutions (640 by 480, 800 by 600, 1024 by 768). This allows you to make certain your Web pages will look great on everyone's screens regardless of their settings!" http://www.sausage.com/supertoolz/web_utilities/stsilverthingy.ht ml

Browsers:

MSIE 5.x (70%) Netscape 4.x (14%) MSIE 4.x (9%) Netscape comp. (2%) MSIE 2.x (1%) Opera x.x (0%) MSIE 3.x (0%) Unknown (0%) Netscape 3.x (0%) Mozilla 5.x (0%) Netscape 2.x (0%) Netscape 1.x (0%)

The days of having to be absolutely pedantic about "cross-browser compatibility" are gone.

With a total of 79% of visitors able to see most or all ofrepparttar 134682 extra goodies that you can do, particularly with CSS, in IE 4 & 5, use 'em. Just take care that they are only "lost" on Netscape users and don't turn out looking funny.

Forms are my bug-bear. You can format neat little boxes to fit in small spaces in IE, then they take up halfrepparttar 134683 page in Netscape. I still have some to fix. If you design for MS IE, I'd advise you, from bitter experience, to take another look at yours.

Keep a copy of Netscape on your machine for testing as I do, or save heaps of HD space and pop along to http://www.anybrowser.com -- "Your Source for Browser Compatibility Verification".

Operating System:

Win 98 (69%) Win 95 (15%) Win NT (6%) Win 2000 (2%) Unknown (2%) Mac (1%) WebTV (1%) Unix (0%) Win 3.x (0%) Linux (0%) Amiga (0%) OS/2 (0%)

Nothing here we didn't know already! With only 1% of people using a Mac, you really have to make a decision. Do you really need to labour creating alternatives such as .pdf flavour eBooks or do you cater torepparttar 134684 vast majority and stick with .exe? Your call!

Java/JavaScript:

No JavaScript: (5%) JavaScript <1.2: (1%) JavaScript 1.2+: (94%) Java enable: (92%) Java disable: (2%) Java unknown: (6%)

All you can conclude from this is that it is safe to use both these technologies. Whether you should or not is another matter!

If something can be done with CGI (drop menus, for example), use that in preference to JavaScript. Similarly, userepparttar 134685 SSI Echo Directive for preference on things like dates.

If you MUST use Java, make sure you have a water-tight excuse and that you NEVER use it on your front page. I just hate having my browser crashrepparttar 134686 moment I enter your site or waiting a week for your "bells and whistles" navigation to load before I can go anywhere. How much of your site will I surf? Yep, you guessed it!

The conclusion from these stats is thatrepparttar 134687 "average visitor" -- ignoring for one moment thatrepparttar 134688 average visitor is actually a real live HUMAN BEING -- uses Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x with a resolution of 800 x 600, running on Windows 98, with Java and JavaScript enabled.

If you design with this Mr/Ms. Average in mind, but just taking care not to completely upset any minority group, you'll come up with a happy-medium that makes for a good browsing experience for them and a heck of a lot less stress for you.

We could all use things that make life easier and that's no lie!

Pamela Heywood is webmistress of http://www.tucats-design.com - Building Your Online Business Instinctively. Subscribe to the weekly TuCats Mewsletter (sic) mailto:subscribe@tucats-design.com and get regular FREE hints, tips, articles and resources.


TRANSLATING YOUR WEB

Written by Paolo Risso


Continued from page 1

Furthermore, an added feature such as an online dictionary is a great way to increase traffic to your site. Before adding a dictionary, consider which languages you wish to cater for. This is important if your web site has a lot of technical content and users need a quick and easy solution for looking up difficult terms and concepts.

I have provided a list of web sites below that offer such a service:

http://eurodic.ip.lu/cgi-bin/edicbin/EuroDicWWW.pl http://www.june29.com/IDP/IDPsearch.html http://www.logos.it/dictionary/owa/old_dictionary.sp?lg=EN http://www.langtolang.com/ http://www.allwords.com/

3) Using automated translators

In my humble opinion, using an automated translator isrepparttar absolute last resort! An automated translator today cannot accurately or effectively translate localised meanings, slang and grammar, but is acceptable if you only want to give your users a general idea of your web page's content.

Having a link to an automated translation service can also increase traffic to your web site. Unlike human translators, automated translators haverepparttar 134681 capacity to cater for multiple languages. In short, this is an affordable, all-round solution.

The most important developer of automated translators is surely SYSTRAN S.A. - http://www.systransoft.com

FreeTranslation.com - http://www.freetranslation.com allows you to copy its automated translator interface and place it on your web page.

Of course it is possible to use a combination of all ofrepparttar 134682 above services - especially when your web site is large. Have your main pages translated by a human translator, and minor pages translated or available for translation by an online dictionary or automated translator service.

It is strategically important thatrepparttar 134683 first page users see is translated (or a link to a translated version available). This will ensure that foreign users will feel compelled to stay and browse your entire web site.

Paolo Risso is the General Project Manager of a team of Spanish and Italian free-lance translators. He is also the author of an on-line English-Italian Technical IT Dictionary (http://www.sententiae.it/asp/search.asp). Add our dictionary interface to your web page: http://www.sententiae.it/link.html


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