When designing a website there are a few things to take into consideration.
1. Visitors have the patience of a fruit fly… ok maybe less.
- Graphic rich designs take longer to load than simple designs.
- Background patterns increase load times
- Anything that can be turned into code vs a graphic is good (see navigation)
- The fun days of cool mouse-over graphics in the navigation are gone, instead the use of CSS and text links are necessary. In other words:
- When you go to design navigation the font should be something like Ariel, Veranda, or Helvetica – very basic, that every computer has
- The mouse over should be a background change, or font color change
- The font and font size should stay the same
3. When designing the Page keep in mind Tags – when at all possible design so we can use tags instead of images
- H1 (heading 1) is usually the page title
- H2 is a sub title
- H3 is sub sub title
- H4, H5, H6 can be used as a highlight or sub text
- P (paragraph) the font, size, color to be used for all plain paragraphs
- Lists – either bulleted or numbered
- Table data, information that appears in a table if applicable
- Links – what a text link will look like in a paragraph, heading, etc.
4. When viewing something on a computer monitor San-Serif fonts are easier to read. Serif fonts can be used as titles or highlights, but should be carefully considered.
5. Italics are difficult to read on a monitor
6. Underlines are assumed to be links, however links don’t need to be underlined, but if not, they should do something when moused-over
7. Keep in mind visitors probably don’t have a monitor as nice as yours, they also may not have a decent internet connection.
8. Design size depends on your visitor and your developer, some site will “grow” to fit the window, others will center on the page, others will stay to the left. If possible design so any of these will look good.
- Power users; high end corporate, IT, marketing firms, designers, etc may have the wide screens, fast connection speed. (1,000-1,200 pixels)
- Normal users; Consumers, office personnel, home users, etc. will have a slower connection, DSL or cable, and may not have great monitor. (800-900 pixels)
- Low end users; factory connections, personal users, IT slow environments (500-600 pixels)
9. The project manager will need a “flat” image to either send to or take to the client to get approval. Once approved the developer will need all the “pieces”, layers, colors, font specifications, etc so he can develop the HTML and CSS that will display the site.
Remember everyone has a different setup on their computers/monitors, every browser displays things a little differently, the final result on the web, will look different from your original design… That’s ok.