Web Site Building · Layout and Design

What this is about:

A simple web site layout is user friendly. Don't make your guests have to struggle to use your site. Web site design is not a one time activity. Almost all web sites alter their layouts periodically to give it a new and better look. Sites are judged by content and layout. No matter how good your content may be, if your layout is not appealing, your guests will not be eager to come back. Not everyone is born with an artistic ability to create layouts that are pleasing to the eye. For those of you, like us, there are alternatives we'll discuss here. Coloring and ease of reading are very important to the people visiting your site. Don't blind them or make them pull out reading glasses.

Web Site Design and Layout Helpware

A Complex Artistic Process Margins and Text Justification — Enhancing the readability of your web site improves the interaction with your visitors. Proper use of margins and alignment goes a long way toward making them feel comfortable. The manner in which text is presented on a page can make or break its readability. Learn the tricks that books and magazines have been using for years.

Type and Colors — What good are all the tireless hours of research for your article or thesis if the presentation makes it unreadable? Choosing the correct combinations of color and text can make or break that prize-winning report. Don't get too bright or use too much contrast between colors, unless of course your readers are snowboarders. Layout, typefaces, and colors give a site its personality and image. Remember, however, that the color red sends a contradictory subliminal message, meaning stop or danger, a message that is not something a site usually wants to project. We'll show you some examples of what works, and what doesn't. You might want to put your sunglasses on first.

Web Design for the No-Talent Artist — We know our limitations. Art is definitely not one of our strong suits. If you find yourself in the same boat, you can still present an award-winning web site if you choose the right tools. Here are a few to get you started. Honestly judge your own abilities. No one knows better than you the level of artistic talent you possess. Operate within the limits. If you can't draw two straight lines, stick to computer generated graphics. If your graphic arts and design talents are limited to stick figures and cartoon landscapes, this article may be just for you.

Anti-Aliasing, aka Removing the Jaggies — Professionalize the quality of your graphic text or circular artwork with an important technique in the tool belt of any contemporary image editing program. Computer monitors are capable or producing nearly perfect straight lines either horizontally or vertically, but when it comes to diagonal lines of any angle your monitor is not capable of producing a line without some jagged edge. The use of gradients, and anti-aliasing, can help make the difference between impressive design skill or sticking with your day job.

Components of a Great Website — A guest article by Merle of MC Promotions. She covers the planning phase, choosing a navigational concept, including contact information and search capability, balancing your use of graphics, and keeping your site evergreen and lively. Anyone can get on the information superhighway, it's up to you what kind of car you want to be seen in.