Boston Massachusetts Website Design Strategy
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The key element of website design is visual navigation through a vast and undefined abstract space – call it cyberspace, or even conceptualize it as a computer monitor. Just as information designer’s present clearly labeled instructions or directions, web designers have to take highly complex information and clearly point the user in predefined directions.
A good web site is therefore clear and easy to read, like a good layout. It is also has navigation aids on each separate web page – often a toolbar, labeled buttons or links that offers a brief outline of the structure.
The web designer must keep in mind that most people still don’t like to read a lot of text on a screen. Small bits of information, often just enough to fit on a single screen without scrolling, coupled with clear directions and navigation devices, will keep a visitor’s attention long enough to read your material.
Website design strategy
Before starting a website design the designer must decide on a website design strategy. The website design strategy will greatly depend on the audience he or she is trying to reach and type of the presentation. Who will be reading the pages? Is it a promotional, news/entertainment or transaction site? What kind of functions will visitors perform on the web site? Search, contribute information, compute, browse, read or interact? Other areas to consider are technology, navigation, interactivity, content and informational – e.g. charts, maps and diagrams.
Basic website design principles
Website design may be based on three design principles: simplicity, brevity and functionality. The page should lead the reader clearly through its message without eye-jarring graphics or distracting ornaments.
Don’t assume everybody has a large screen monitor. Your design should be optimized for the lowest common denominator screen size of 800 x 600 pixels. A clear visual difference between types of pages can be created to differentiate between home page and secondary pages or service pages and actual content pages. When designing site banners it is good practice to include the company logo on every banner. It is best to concentrate on using two or three fonts at the most for web pages.
Colors should be used sparingly. A rule of thumb is to limit yourself to three colors and to build your page with one-third graphics, one-third text, and one-third empty page. Pick a light-colored background to make the text stand out. Colors can be used to group objects or to delineate the relationships between different objects.
There should be enough contrast when choosing color between the background, text, and links to make the difference discernable. If one is using a light background than the text and links should have enough saturation. Conversely, if one is using a dark background, the color should be light and bright enough to be legible. Readability is enhanced by greater contrast between type and background color.
Break text up into bit-size pieces, enough to fit on a single page, so that readers don’t have to scroll long blocks of copy. Break type up in small paragraphs. Use first line paragraph indents, extra leading between paragraphs, absolute margins, and em- dashes. Space out type ‘to make it bouncy and exciting. Narrow columns for text make this page extremely easy to read.
High quality contone photographic images with detail are best saved as JPEG (medium or low is all you need) and you get the smallest file size. JPEG is a method for compressing of color bitmapped images that allows for variable levels of compression. It’s also the name of the file format for storing the resulting image. JPEG tends to give smaller files for photographs with compression, which means that they load faster, but decompression takes time.
For flat color files, line art, use GIF. GIF uses LZW compression, referred to as ‘lossless’ compression. GIF’s are compressed by looking for repeating patterns of color along each horizontal line and compressing the pixels. Images that get compressed the most contain the most repeating patterns along the horizontal.