Web Design the Principles Term Paper

Pages: 8 (3086 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 35  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

.. The high hourly maintenance fees and the lack of in-house control discourages smaller firms from developing or expanding their Web presence. Because of this, many firms neglect this important duty, or they put it very low on their list of priorities. Stale information is worse than no information -- in most cases a user looking for timely data will not revisit a site that does not provide up-to-the-minute information. (Geerts, Waddington & Dilley, 2000, p. 55)

The authors state clearly a rigid and "static" site is the antithesis of good Web design.

2.7. Navigation

Navigation is one of the most essential and pivotal parts of all design features on the Web. Essentially navigation which is the way a viewer explores a site is the management principle which allows the content to be seen and facilitates accessibility. Poor navigation is the surest route to drive viewers away. The trend in design is towards straightforward and functional navigation which manages and directs the flow of site content. The following view (Koreto) clearly illustrates the idea of basic navigation. "As your site grows, navigation will become an important issue. Your home page should link to the other main pages. " (Koreto, 1997, p 83) The author continues to expand on this important aspect and to develop certain essential aspects related to good navigation.

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Each page also should have a Return to Home Page button. "Navigation is key." says Brown. "Every page should link to most or all of the other pages. If visitors have to bounce around to find what they want, they'll quickly lose patience and leave." Look at the AICPA home page (http://www.aicpa.org) for its extensive and clear table of contents right up front. Johnson points out that the rule of thumb in print design is to have a lot of white space, but this does not necessarily hold true for Web sites. "People don't want to scroll down for their information. They want to find it right in front of them." (Koreto, 1997, p 83)

Term Paper on Web Design the Principles of Assignment

There are a number of important points referred to in the above quotation. Firstly, it is essential that all the pages link to one another. The concept of navigation or navigational aids are clearly explicated in the following quotation.

Navigational aids are elements that help a user locate information at a Website and allow the user to easily move from page to page within the site. Navigational aids allow readers the flexibility they need to move to a desired spot in the Web site. They are necessary for two reasons: (a) they allow readers to "browse" easily through the site, and (b) they provide an orientation to the material at the site, just as page numbers, chapter headings, a table of contents, and an index provide an orientation to material within a book.: (Tate & Alexander, 1999, p. 50)

As the above states, the essence of navigation is the ability to make the site information manageable and coherent. The term "intuitive" is used in describing effective navigation design. This means that the navigation and design should be integrated and accessible to viewers so that exploring the site becomes almost without effort. Zimmerman (1997) agrees with this and points out that one way to increase the navigability of Web pages is to include "return to home page," "previous page," and "next page" links on each page.

Other pundits (Lynch, 1995) suggest that navigational links be situated at the beginning and end of the Web page to increase accessibility. This method increases ease of use as the viewer is not required to return to the main page in order to access another page in the site. This is only a simple example and there are many other methods of designing navigation. One of the preferred methods is provide a table of content on each page. The central principle is however clear -- navigation must be simple, unobtrusive and effective in guiding the viewer through the site.

2.8. Page length

This principle is often not observed in Web design. It relates to the point made above about understanding the specific nature of the medium. Long pages necessitate scrolling which slows down the active Web surfer. Long Web pages do not fit into the concept of Web sites as fast and dynamic areas of interaction. They simply do not belong in the context of the dynamic and speed conscious Internet. For this reason to ensure a well designed website one must include condensed pages containing succinct text.

2.9. The Use appropriate text fonts and styles

Different Web browsers may display non-standard text in various ways. Therefore only standard text fonts should be used when designing Web pages. Vaughan (1996) suggests that smaller header sizes should be used in HTML in order to facilitate the best use of Web space.

2.10. Testing

This is an important aspect as the complexity of formats and browser types require that the web site be compatible with all the variants where possible. As Tate & Alexander (1999) point out "Whenever possible, create pages so they can be viewed correctly with as many browsers as possible." (Tate & Alexander, 1999, p. 110)

2.11. Summation

The above are only a few of the many principles of good Web design. There are many other aspects, including the recent focus on accessibility for those with visual impairments. The field of web design is dynamic and challenging with new technical and performance issues appearing regularly. The above aspects of design relate to the central criteria of accessibly and communication that underlies all principles of Web design.


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