Design Basics


Surf - See what you like, what you don't like.  Then describe WHY you feel that way.

Observe - Design ideas are everywhere - billboards, magazines, TV, etc.  Soon you'll notice fonts, color schemes, white space. 

Think - think about the ads you see that you think work - what made you look or remember that design?  Describe it.

Learn - Learn about browsers.  Try different ones.  See how they work in different resolutions.  Shrink and enlarge the window and watch how the words and graphics move.










When using color, fonts, patterns or space - either make it the same or make it VERY different.



Let your visitors know that they are still in the same web site by repeating design elements, such as color, layout, and design elements.



Choose one alignment - left, right or center.  Left alignment can increase the ability to scan a page.  A single alignment can increase the professional look of your design.



Make sure captions and headings are near the items they are describing.



Jane's Rules

smredpen.gif (1530 bytes)Don't Underline - Standard webs use the underline as a clue to hyperlinks.  It's flustrating to click on an underlined area that won't take you anywhere!

smredpen.gif (1530 bytes)Don't make your visitor scroll sideways.  As a general rule - it's better to use percentages rather than absolute pixels when designing with tables.

smredpen.gif (1530 bytes)Don't strand your visitor - give them a navigational way out -other than the back button.

smredpen.gif (1530 bytes)Be VERY careful when using backgrounds - if you think it might be difficult to read - it is!  See Tables for a work-around for this if you must use a background.  White makes a great background!

smredpen.gif (1530 bytes)Huge amount of text are difficult to read on a monitor.  Break up text with headings, pictures, spaces.  Large expanses of text width are tiring to the eye.   Limit width with a table if necessary.

smredpen.gif (1530 bytes)Think twice before including background music.  While it can add interest - it can also be disruptive and irritating. 

smredpen.gif (1530 bytes)Frames can be tricky.  Try to use tables or other methods first.   Think of your visitor and their need to print the page.  Give them a navigational way to make the page full screen if you think they may need to print the information.  Example:  Maps - Wayne County

smredpen.gif (1530 bytes)Remember your audience.  Some folks are color blind.  Don't make links green and red.  Don't make the font size too small.  8 pt fonts are difficult to read with bifocals!  When possible, leave font as "normal" and let your visitor control the size.

smredpen.gif (1530 bytes)If you're a control freak - you're in the wrong business.  Exact control over the page is impossible.  The goal is to make it look as good as possible for many different possible configurations.




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