This introductory-level article provides checklists to help with planning a new website. Tips include the effect background colors can have on site visitors and page length considerations such as using shorter pages to break up text by topic or using longer page lengths for ease of printing.
Web Page Design Overview - Backgrounds, Special Effects and More (Page 5 of 5 )
Choose background colors carefully
Many websites today use a simple white background so that text is easy to read, but you can choose any color. Be cautious, however. Research on color has shown that color can affect how people perceive information. For example, royal blue represents a conservative or traditional approach while gray evokes a feeling of being uninvolved. Red increases blood pressure and heart rate and indicates an urge to achieve results and succeed. Also, you should avoid using bright colors, such as neon tones, because they can be hard to look at for too long.
Avoid large backgrounds
There are lots of sites on the Internet where you can get free backgrounds for your site. Be careful though about selecting one of these backgrounds. Some are "too busy" and distracting and many are large and, therefore, take a long time to load.
Use special effects sparingly
This is one instance where the old saying "less is more" applies. Have you ever browsed a page with several blinking text items or animations going on simultaneously, or a page with five or six frames, each tiled with a different background image? Then you know that too many special effects can be irritating. Use special effects, such as frames and animations, conservatively and tastefully to enhance your web page. You don't want to overwhelm or annoy your visitors.
Avoid copyright violations
The current copyright laws and their application to the Internet continues to be a topic of debate. For example, just because art or information is on the Internet, it does not mean that you have the right to copy it. Also, you cannot copy text or images from books, magazines, or other sources and place them on your website. Even using clipart that you have purchased for print may be illegal for use on the web.
Instead, create your own text and, if possible, draw your own graphics. Also, consider purchasing clipart that you can use on the web.
VII. Finishing Touches
Add horizontal lines
Horizontal lines are effective design elements that you can use to separate different elements on a page. Lines don't take any extra time to download, and you can vary their length and width.
If you wish to spice up your page, consider using color lines. They take a few seconds to download, but they can add a strong design element to your page, especially if you coordinate the lines with the color scheme of your page. Avoid using different types of lines on the same page, and be careful -- too many lines can be distracting.
You can use bullets to set off lists or to break up the page visually. Color balls, arrows, and pointers are also available, but remember, a little color goes a long way.
If you want to draw your viewers' attention to new items on your page, you can add colorful markers that identify the items as "New" or "Updated." Again, don't overdo it -- one or two markers per page is sufficient. More than that defeats the purpose.
Include an e-mail address link
Invite your viewers to contact you by including an e-mail address link on your page. This link will take your visitors directly to a window where they can type and send you an e-mail message.
This is how you can design your site. So what are you thinking? Get set go.
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