:web design/

Web design articles

Like everyone else who has ever put together a web site, I made mistakes when I was starting out. Stupid mistakes, too — such us underlining non-link text. I listened to the feedback I got, invested in a good HTML text and hit the Web and Usenet too; from these resources I learned the basic principles of how the Web works. Over the years since then, I’ve built on that foundation. My approach to web site design can be summed up like this:

  1. The content is what matters: nothing should get in the way of it.
  2. As far as is possible, content should be accessible by anyone accessing the Web using any user agent (by “as far as is possible”, I simply mean to note that certain types of content can never be made fully available to every user — e.g. a gallery of art).
  3. While ensuring that both the previous points are met, the site should look good in graphical browsers. It should be attractive, and stylish in a way which suits the content.
  4. When trying to produce an attractive site, I bear in mind that not everyone has a fast Internet connection — and I’m not paying the user’s bills. Loading time matters!

The articles here reflect — or at least should reflect — this approach. Remember, though, that the Web changes rapidly and there may be one or two views expressed which I no longer hold, or techniques described which I no longer think appropriate. These articles don’t pretend to be any sort of tutorial, and in some matters I don’t pretend to be impartial; they should, though, be helpful to anyone getting to grips with designing for the Web.


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