Web Page Design with Graphic Buttons
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New webmasters enjoy making web graphics a lot. They are fun to make and look good. Unfortunately, what's good for a web page designer isn't necessarily good for the visitors. As a web designer, you need to think like the latter and not the former. After all, it's visitors who will be using your creation more. Let us look at how to use and create web graphics based on the rules of good web page design.
Some rules for making web graphics are:
- TRIM IT. Graphic buttons should be trim. Use a file compressor to squeeze the extra fat (read: bytes) out of your bloated Photoshop or CorelDraw graphics. This is the most basic rule of all. Graphics must load fast or your visitors might lose patience and move elsewhere.
- Graphic buttons should have descriptive alternative titles in them. Even in these days of DSL and cable internet connections, there are still people with slow connections. Some of them may turn off the Autoload Images option in Internet Explorer (or whichever browser they use). If they do, your lovely graphic buttons will be just empty rectangular blocks that don't tell them anything. That is, if you don't include text titles in them with the <img alt="name"> command. So make sure you include those, with single-word titles like "Archives" or "Gallery."
- For the same reason as above, don't use graphics that are TOO small. If you make them too small, text titles might not fit.
- NEVER, and we mean, NEVER use graphic-buttons ONLY. Good web page design should always include text (that is, plain HTML) links alongside buttons. Search engine spiders and robots cannot read graphic buttons, so if you rely on them alone, your pages won't appear in their listings.
- NEVER use graphics only for your front or main page. For that matter, don't use heavy graphics combined light text either. In smart web page design, there must always be a fair amount of text in your web pages. No text means no keywords. If your main or opening page has little to no text in it, it won't get top page ranking in Google and other search engines.
- Dump the fancy fonts. Nice-looking type is good, but don't overdo it. Too much fancy typesetting suggests unprofessional web page design.
- For the same reason as above, avoid loud colors and obnoxious color combinations. Good web page design should be easy on the eyes. Make the foreground text stand out from the background and avoid crazy color mixes.
As you can see, we stress a rather conservative approach that prioritizes visitors' needs. We believe that your talents as a web designer are best shown, not by your ability to create stunning effects, but by intelligent and considerate web page design that puts your visitors' interests first. Hopefully these simple tips will encourage you to find other ways to make your site more user-friendly as well. Good luck!
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