Website Design Considerations w/ Examples

by Fred Aebli

Table of Contents

Introduction

Design Considerations are a constantly changing venue but some standards are beginning to emerge. One of the better sites that support what is currently effective can be found here http://www.webreference.com/experts/ . What I attempted to do was follow the lead of Dmitry Kirsanov who broke website design considerations into a handful of subtopics. You can see his full articles and supporting website at http://www.webreference.com/dlab/ . I took the liberty of adding my own summaries but feel free to agree or disagree with my selections.

Color

Picking a color that doesn’t cause eyestrain, become unreadable for the color blind, or just not readable is an important consideration. The primary requirement that must be satisfied in any case is that the text must remain legible. A good site should use contrasting, but softened, colors to bring out links and light text. This is further brought out by a dark background.

Fonts

Many sites display fonts but there are two general rules of thumb. First, try to be consistent with your font selection and second if you are using HTML and not creating a graphic from scratch, be sure you know that that font exists on the intended machine. In other words, if you use some non-standard font other than TimesNew Roman or Ariel, be sure that the font you plan on using is distributed on the machines you plan on having access your site.

Shape

The basic gaol when applying shapes such as lines, circles or rectangles to a webpage is to achieve a sense of balance, making the page aesthetically pleasing to the eye. 

Texture

Textures can be created by combing various colors and shapes for a very big emotional impact.

Dynamism & Animation

This aspect of web design gives the viewer the feeling of motion. This can be accomplished by applying static photos representing motion events or an animated event such as a cartoon. In either case both achieve the opposite of what we attempted to do with Shape Considerations, and that was achieve balance. Dynamism disrupts that balance.

Artwork

Abstract graphics are suitable for a number of applications. They can often be weave into the functionality of the website or stand-alone.

Photography

Selection of a still photo and it’s incorporation to a web page can dramatically alter the feeling or mood of a web page. Photos can be incorporated to express an idea that may not be blatantly clear at first but after visiting the site it becomes obvious.

Web Site Navigation

Web site navigation is a crucial component to the overall success of a website. Even if there is excellent web design, the lack of an intuitive navigation system could cause the site to be useless. Several methods can be employed to make a sound navigational mechanism.