Good Web Design

My own opinion

The design of a page desides whether the surfer will stay there or not. A simple page which is always seen in the web, with some pictures pasted in isn't very good. And text like "Hi Surfer, I am....and have the following hobbies.... is not very interesting.

The design should be of one shape. It might look nice to have a different background-graphic and a different background-sound for every page, but on the one hand, many bytes have to be downloaded and the design doesn't look that good.

The rules for good design are valuable and are there for big sites as well as for private sites. Try to develop a Corporate Identity (CI) for yourself. Think about your hobbies, with what you work most of the time. With these thoughts you might easily find a design. On the other hand the CI most importantly is connected to the things you want to display on your page. If you, for example want to write about love, it might be wrong to take a dark background.

The menu of a homepage should have a uniform design. If you use graphics for the menu, you shouldn't forget to fill out the alternative text. The modern browsers support the alternative texts. The graphic might not be loaded for some reason and the surfer can then still know what is linked behind the graphic.

Most of the time you should use the JPEG-format for the graphics. You should use a compression-rate with 20 percent quality-loss. You should use JPEG with high-resolution-graphics which have many changes in color. GIFs should be used with graphics that have to have a transparent background. Never forget, that GIFs only have a color depth of 256 colors. JPEGs have a color depth of 16,7 million colors. By the way: Animated GIFs are made with the GIF Construction Kit. Not all of them, but most I guess.

To guarantee a uniform design you should at the beginning think about what you want to display. Get your information, paint the graphics. Make clear if you want to use frames or not. That would certainly make things easier. With frames you can easily add an item to the menu without changing all files. But more to this in the basics. Please think about that your web-page can easily get to a size of more than 100 pages. To change them afterwards, because you changed the design somehow, can be really hard work. You only want to make private homepage and don't want to be a SysOp (Systemoperator) at a big Web-Site.

And now a little story at the end. I also began very small. I didn't look for the conventions of creating a web-page programmed without thinking about it. But my Web-Site is out of its baby-shoes now. And who knows, maybe I'll change the design again in half a year. Nothing is more terrible than a Web-Site which doesn't change.

Erika Holmsten © 1998