Top 20 Design Tips

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The following twenty tips were selected to

      Draw the reader to significant, contemporary issues in Web design that he or she might want to research in depth

      Point the designer to the most common problems in Web design and offer solutions so those problems can be avoided in the future

  • Cascading style sheets. Style sheets, once supported by all of the common browsers on the market, will be one of the primary methods of controlling page style with ease.
  • How to generate HTML source code. You might have asked yourself what the best method of generating HTML is. There's a lot of information on the market, and many very good packages.
  • Avoid horizontal scroll bars! One of the more unsightly phenomenon on the Web, the horizontal scroll bar can be avoided. Read about some of the methods to design for common-denominator space, and look at one solution in action.
  • Creating margins. All too often, the text on Web pages runs the full horizon, making it difficult to read.
  • Domain Names. Do you really need one, how do you get one, and how much do they cost? Learn how to research and register domain names for your Web sites.
  • ActiveX. Microsoft's heavy contender into client-side applications. A fun example of ActiveX in action, plus a discussion on where to study it more.
  • Animated GIFs. The current animation style of choice, animated GIFs can be fast-loading, fun, and easy to create.
  • Client-side image maps.
  • Interlaced GIFs. Progressive rendering of graphics keeps the eye engaged while other elements on a page are downloaded.
  • Consistent design. Have you ever gotten to a great page and thought the entire site would be as well designed, only to find bland design behind the pretty door? Consistent design is an important part of making the Web visually strong and keeping sites logical from page to page.
  • Tables as design layout tool. Underlying some of today's best Web sites are tables, which are being used as the fundamental layout tool on the Web.
  • White space. Having a balance of space with visual and text elements helps designs flow, the eyes rest, and the experience of a page more pleasant—a design essential in any media.
  • Designing for the audience. Knowing your audience is one of the most powerful driving forces behind good communications, and a foundation of effective design.
  • Promoting Web sites. What if I built a Web site and nobody came? The effort and money that went into it is wasted.
  • Safe palettes. It's important for Web designers to understand how to select background colors that won't dither on less sophisticated systems.
  • Link color matching. Just as with backgrounds, matching link and text colors to design is going to be more visually stable when selected from a safe palette.
  • Treat space as an entire unit. Instead of breaking up space, let it flow! See how this has been done by the designers of the attractive.
  • Splash pages. When do you use them? How can you make them effective?
  • RSACi ratings. Put Web site ratings in the hands of parents and schools, not special interest groups. RSACi allows for intelligent, controlled ratings for Web page content.
  • Keeping up in an ever-changing Web world. Where do I go every day to read about what's new in this rapidly evolving field?
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