Web Design

Before you ever make a webpage, it is very important to design it to look good. While good is in the eye of the beholder, there are some guidelines to ensure your page isn't awful.

A good webpage always meets the following rules:
  1. It fulfills its purpose
  2. It can be accessed by everyone
  3. It is clear and consise (to the point)
  4. It is not distracting or annoying
Another important matter to consider when making a webpage is the purpose of the page. The purpose should match the design. Here are some purposes, definitions, and recommendations:

CommercialDesigned for businesses or marketing purposesPage should be easy to navigate, as short as possible, obvious and possibly even boring. Above all it should be inviting and look professional. Avoid "cutesy" things that will distract from the message. Corporate pages have been appearing more casual lately, but a professional atmosphere should still exist. Examples include Pepsico.com and Shalfman family photo album and Mrs. Wilcox's Class page.
InformationalTo give information to your visitorsMake it easy to find information, easy to access, and avoid useless information. You want to make as much information available as possible. Examples include Amazon.com or CNN.com.
Graphic IntenseTo give a large number of pictures to your audience.Make sure the pictures are attractive and, whenever possible, provide thumbnails to click on. Pictures take time to load on slower computers. To prevent people from getting tired of a page, graphics pages are modified to have less information on each page and more thumbnails, or miniature pictures. Examples include Backgrounds Archive and the NASA image archives.
Artistic sitesBand, art, entertainmment or other creative pages Intense design and beauty is expected. Usually these pictures aren't as easy to navigate, but what they lack in structure, they make up for in beauty or creativity. These sites are more serious than they appear at first, but they're usually built for people who already are familiar with the artist. Some examples are the Dave Matthew's Band site and the J.K. Rowling site.

You should know that bad design is watched closely too. One bad page can make you look incompetent. There are people who collect bad pages. You can find examples of what not to do at www.webpagesthatsuck.com. By looking at bad design, it's easier to understand what good is like.

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