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Design Principles that Shape a Web Site


Have you ever wondered why one web page interests you while another leaves you cold? If you're designing your own web site, that topic is of more than idle interest. There are specific design principles that you can use to ensure web surfers have a good experience when they visit your web site and keep coming back for more. This article explains the details.

Author Info:
By: Stephen Davies
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 12
July 25, 2007
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Design Principles that Shape a Web Site
  2. · The aesthetics of web design
  3. · What Software?
  4. · Compositing the visual elements

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Design Principles that Shape a Web Site - What Software?
(Page 3 of 4 )

It's a difficult but important choice to decide upon the best software for the job. Many of us are great illustrators; others tend to be great designers but not so adept with the pen stroke. Other disparities exist; some enjoy hard coding everything, while many would prefer a package that has a designer's interface and less programming. I chose the software listed for the reasons stated alongside the title; these programs let you focus on design. This is by no means an absolute choice of software; that depends on the user's feel for the product. Personally, I prefer the Macromedia range as it has great design work flow across all products.

  1. Dreamweaver MX - Great design tool allowing freedom of design skill.
  2. Photoshop CS - Gives the user complete control of the graphic design process.
  3. Swift 3D v4 - Allows the creation of 3D graphics for the web quickly, an innovation I really have only touched upon.
  4. SwishMax - Lets the user produce flash animation of high quality without knowledge of Flash or actionscript.
  5. Flash MX - Features vector graphics that can be weaved quickly and the scripting language is not too difficult to grasp; authoring has no boundaries.
  6. Fireworks 8 - Affords expert control over image optimization and editing.
  7. Adobe illustrator - Gives digital artists complete control over vector drawing for the web.

What Programming Languages?

Additionally the following languages would allow more control over the whole design process, even if you just use the basics: HTML, JavaScript, CSS and Perl.

Web design is shaped by many concepts, and these design factors shape the design solution. Since the first website appeared back in 1991, some common elements still are true today, like e-mail, hypertext and a generic mark-up language. Web design involves binding all these elements together around the mark-up language which in this case will be HTML. It is a simple mark-up language with a range of formatting options and the ability to link pages together using hyperlinks. For this reason web sites distinguish themselves from other forms of communication media.

Of course the mark-up has become more complex and flexible in recent years. Most web sites are basically pages of tables with tabular information and graphics forming a design perspective. So designers have various technologies at hand to enhance how the web design process proceeds. Database integration technologies called server side scripting also enhance this process. The scripts that sit behind this process are written in one of many languages used on server side scripting, which include PHP, ASP.NET, ASP, JSP, JavaScript and Perl. The latter option -- Perl -- is a scripting language that allows information to be fed through a web site and stored on a server for the purpose of utilizing that information. This skill is essential for producing e-commerce enabled sites that require real-time information, e.g. an airline booking system.


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