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webArticle: Instructions for Web-Site designers

Instructions for Web-Site Designers

First Think and Then Work

Young designers often tend to miss the step of thinking things through before getting to work and turning them into a reality. Yet, those two aspects are strongly bonded, and therefore if the idea isnít good or you didnít pay it much attention, the realization wonít turn out well either.

The first thing every designer should do is grab a pencil and a piece of paper. Now concentrate and ask yourself the important questions: What kind of content do I want to be shown on a web-site? How do I want it to look? What tasks must be completed in the process of a making? Then start putting your thoughts on paper - take notes, draw sketches and required illustrations. Think about the composition; how will your ideas and elements combine into a whole. Only after you finish this part, move on to working on those thoughts through computer programs.

This simple advice boosts your productivity and gives you extra time. Even if it seems that the thoughts-on-paper step requires more time than just to skip it and jump to the ďreal workĒ, itís the complete opposite of that.

Move from General to Detailed

This instruction is, as the first one, simple and extremely useful, but often disregarded.

Think of it logically: If a painter started to draw a portrait from an ear or a finger, instead of first composing and sketching every part of the body and then bringing more and more detail to it, it wonít turn out to be as good. Therefore, donít become burdened with all the details. Move slowly and donít think too much about the next step until you get there and see how it fits the whole story.

Moreover, you can apply this teaching to all aspects of life. It helps you to learn and grow faster.

However, as a designer, you canít just work without a plan and hope that it will all turn out right. You do need to have an idea, even when it comes to the finishing touches. Therefore, the best thing to do is to find your way somewhere in between Ė make a plan that should serve as a ďguiding systemĒ, instead of taking it for granted. Systematically arrange all the blocks and elements, while constantly adding more detail to them.


There is more than one thing to consider when designing a composition.

The first thing that you should do is come-up with a framework that will solve all the potential design problems. The framework is consisted of navigation and other components like sidebars and bottom bars. Following a single module net in the framework will simplify the developer's work.

When making a composition, elements should be nicely arranged instead of just thrown all over the page. This is both simple and difficult to accomplish, since there is a thin line between chic and kitsch.

If in the process shows up an element that isnít in the original design, this means you didnít spend much time planning.


Scalability is an ability of a system to handle growing amounts of work. A system wonít scale if itís not designed to scale. When it comes to a web-site design, this means that a site should be scaled depending on the userís monitors, which are nowadays of different types and sizes.

Remember the following:
- General composition must stay the same in any resolution of a monitor;
- All elements need to be scaled based on the userís screen type and size;
- All blocks, module nets and other horizontals are scaled in percent, and all vertical lines are scaled in em.

Compression Ė Tension

Compression, when it comes to a web-site, is referred to the siteís ability to compress or to stretch to a certain amount.

First, begin with finding a minimum compression.

A minimum width is determined by the web-siteís tasks and its target audience.

A maximum width Ė For tension, a range is recommended not to be higher than Ĺ times from the size of minimum compression. Otherwise, composition usually collapses.

Elements That Affect Visitorsí Experience

The following elements need to be given a special attention since they play an important role in the userís experience:

1) Navigation

Navigation allows your visitors to find what they are looking for without confusion or unnecessary clicks. Confusing navigation layouts will result in people closing a page rather than trying to figure it out.

2) Fonts

When choosing a font, keep in mind that people will read the text from different devices and browsers. If the font is large-scaled, it may look good on a computer monitor; however, on a mobile device the desired look wonít be accomplished.

3) Links

Adding links is a good way of helping visitors to better navigate your site, and providing them additional information. Links located in the text must be underlined and in a different color from the basic text.

4) Maintenance

In order for a site to keep its quality

Owner: Jesse Flatcher


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