Notes on Web Page Construction (WPC)

Artwork

Artwork is a double edged sword. If done well, the artwork on a web page can be very, very VERY good. But artwork done badly is VERY VERY VERY BAD. The artwork, and how it is presented, will make or break a website. Adding artwork to a web page is very easy, adding good artwork and making a good presentation is very hard.

Size & Speed

Keep in mind that some web browsers will be dialing into internet providers at 14.4 (or less) and will have to download SLOWLY the fancy artwork you provide. They will get tired of it very quickly and not visit often. The artwork you present should be speedy (read small file size) to retrieve and relavant. If the artwork is simply there to simply show how cluttered you can make a page it is not good. Don't have 27 different color bullets of 5 different shapes (different for each list item) to show you can. Each of those little graphic elements needs to be loaded seperately. Re-use as many as you can (some browsers will buffer them so that they only need to be retrieved once per website.

Clarity

The capability of web pages to display a background color, or a background pattern makes the page presentation look very VERY cool. However, be sure the text you have presented to overlay the background is readable. Have someone with poor eyesight (or at least two other people besides yourself) confirm that the page you prepared is readable if you change the default background and/or text. And be sure that if you change the text color it is still readable with the default grey background (i.e. without having a background picture or color used). Some browsers do not support background colors, or images.

Recognition

Artists are people just like you and I. If you have an artist, no matter how skilled, create some artwork you wish to use on your web page, talk to them about such use. Get permission to present it on your website. This makes the artist feel good, even if they deny your request. If they give permission, give the artist credit, and if the artist has an e-mail address include in the credit line that address with the request that compliments be sent directly to the artist.

No Art

This might seem like a bad thing for a web page. But having a page with no artwork at all, just the textual information (and links) is sometimes better than one with a mish-mash of unrelated graphics. Not everyone is a gifted artist. Not everyone has a good eye for creating pleasing mix of graphical elements. Not everyone has the tools (or time) to prepare fancy, elaborate and thoughtful artwork. The key here is, if you do not know you can produce a good graphic, DON'T! It is better (at least IMHO) that you do not make a mess of it and lose visitors due to a poorly designed and/or presented graphic.


Last Update: Friday, April 14, 2006
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Mark J Smith Send me a Note Version: 2.0.1.0