Design Aspects

This is an old page. The updated version is here.

For the moment forget the good web pages - before you look for such pages first take a look at a bad web page - (although in this case it is so bad it is really quite good).

Once you have seen this bad page you should begin to understand that there are a few simple rules which will improve your web pages: 

  • First consider the ease with which your page can be read
    • Don't type in capital letters - you lose the shape of the word making it harder to read. On the world wide web capital letters are considered SHOUTING!
    • Don't type all your pages in an italic font style - reserve italics for emphasizing a word phrase or quotation.
    • Avoid blinking text - it gets very irritating and can distract the reader. If you must use it get only one area to blink. Remember too that Internet Explorer won't display it.
    • Using more than two or three font styles on a page looks untidy. Remember too the only font styles you are reasonably certain that your reader will have  will be the standard variable width, serif font such as Times New Roman, the sans serif variable with font such as Arial and the fixed width font such as Courier
    • Avoid the use of underlining for titles and emphasis. It's better to use the bold effect and to make headings bigger. Reserve underlining for links.
    • Avoid the use of vivid backgrounds - they make text difficult to read. If you must use one then place the text in a table and use a plain background in it. That can look very effective.
    • Use a contrasting font and background color -
    • Which do you think is easier to read? Which do you think is easier to read?
    • Add plenty of what printer's call 'white space' - blank areas between sections

  • Next consider what happens if the page is printed out.

  • Most browsers will not print the background by default but will print the text as the same color as it is on the page - so yellow text on a black page would be printed in yellow against a white background (assuming you use white paper in your printer) If you expect someone will print out your page then either use a dark font colour against a light background or provide a link to a printable page. And of course, place the link at the page top.
  • Wherever it is appropriate use a graphic - they add interest to a page. But, take into account the loading time of graphics. If it takes more than 20 seconds to load a graphic at 28.8 K/second then try changing the graphic to make it quicker to load. Most graphics can be optimised using a program such as Paint Shop Pro. If you have to use a lot of graphics on a page then use a smaller 'thumbnail' version as a link to the full size version.
  • By all means add sound to a page but if the sound is embedded and auto starts then turn the volume down in the embed command - your viewer can always turn it up. If there's a lot of text on the page, it's polite to put a control so your viewer can turn sound off . Here's an example of the code used -

  • <EMBED SRC="icansee.mid" WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="55" AUTOSTART="true" LOOP="true" CONTROLS="smallconsole" VOLUME="50">
  • Remember to test your web page using different browsers to make sure everything works properly. In the PC world  that means at the very minimum testing using Netscape and Internet Explorer - the two main contenders. Maybe one day they will be fully compatible with each other and use 'standard' HTML, JavaScript and Java?
  • Remember to include in your pages some code for other browsers that can't use frames or Java (something to the effect of - 'You need to upgrade')
  • Finally, if all this is beyond you - Look for a web page design service. JayDax offers one :)

Page design by:JayDaxDesigns
© 2000 JayDax Designs