Web Site Design: Things You Should AvoidWritten by Gunter Gerdenitsch
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There are many companies specialized in helping you to make your web site look more professionally. Some of them are even quite generous about their free advice, e.g. WebSource.com (E:Downloadweb-source.com ).
When you design your web site locally, you will usually do it at same screen resolution you have set your computer to as you use it for all other applications. When you are finished, it looks "perfect". Amateurish web designers would feel great now, and upload their stuff right away.
Yet, professional web site designers will deliberately transfer their design to any other browsers with different screen resolution or even to another computer with a different operating system. And, usually, they will be in for a shock: What was looking "perfect" initially, might be garbled now or hard to read.
The reason is, a HTML code is no "hard copy" (like e.g. a poster printed on paper). Instead, browser "paints" copy described in htm-code differently every time, according to available space. (Convince yourself: Display any .htm-file in your browser, but this time don't maximize browser's window but set it to variable size. When you drag window, say, at lower right corner - you will see how words and images move around. Up to a point perhaps at which you lose context when reading them!)
Gunter Gerdenitsch 1st Component Design - visit: http://www.1st-components.com Universal Software Components - Applications with minimal Programming firstname.lastname@example.org phone, fax: +43 1 804 47 30
Web Design for the No-Talent ArtistWritten by Jeff Clark
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If you aren't a whiz with HTML, consider a WYSIWYG layout editor. The editor will allow you to move your creation from your mind to screen. If you do know something about programming and modern constructs of web page design, consider building your site with external, included files. One of most important tenets of good web design is a consistent look and feel, especially navigation. The navigation should look and operate same on every page within your site. It gives your guests a feeling of comfort.
If you construct your navigation within an external file that is included at page load, you can save yourself tons of repetitive effort. If you want to add a new section, instead of having to change hundreds of pages, you merely change included file and you've added more functionality. There are probably other pieces of your site that will appear on every page. If so, put them in external files. You'll be glad you did. Read up on server side includes and ASP (Active Server Pages) too. Photographs Are Our Friends
For no-talent artists like me, photography becomes ultimate substitute for computer generated art. Buy yourself a digital camera, or a scanner. If you need a graphic that looks like a pumpkin patch, take a picture of one. Want to create that perfect background scene to set mood? No better realization than actual thing. Props in photography can serve an equally compelling purpose as that omni-filtered vector you spent days developing. If you don't have money or inclination to do digital photography yourself, there are plenty of stock catalogs available for a reasonable fee.
In summary, why make it harder on yourself than it needs to be? If you get scared off by marvelous professional artists out there, you'll never give yourself a chance. Many of most enjoyable sites on web were created by other twenty people who sat in that art class admiring work of Willie.
Jeff Clark is webmaster of Internet Brothers: Helpware for the Cybercommunity (http://internetbrothers.com), a web site devoted to helping newcomers compete on the Internet. Offering free tips, tutorials, and interviews about HTML and DHTML, graphics editing, page layout and design, digital photography, desktop publishing, and site promotion.