We believe good web design can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your website.
Important design issues we consider include:
The speed at which your website loads.
The use of Flash graphics and animation.
Allowing all users access to your site.
Tableless Layout of web page material.
A professionally built website will produce more traffic which is essential for businesses and organisations who want to utilise the massive potential that the web can provide.
We think a website should work perfectly, be easy to use and look great. Leave off any one of these attributes and your site will not produce the results you require. Today’s internet users will not tolerate a poorly designed website.
We look at many factors when designing a web solution. Simple features and attributes can influence how long a user spends at your website:
- Layout and Composition,
- Colour and Texture,
- Typography and
No one likes to wait, especially for web pages to load. If it’s not there in a few seconds, they’re gone. There are several design considerations that influence the speed the website interacts with the user:
- The size and amount of included text, graphics or images.
- Database access methodologies used.
- The use of Flash animation.
- Using Web 2.0 features like AJAX (as used by Google, FaceBook and YouTube) to provide a more immediate application to user response.
- The performance and setup of the web host’s computers (servers).
- The bandwidth of the communication lines into the web host’s IT facilities. Test the speed of your connection, click here.
There are also outside factors that cannot be controlled but should be taken into account during the design stage:
- The user’s internet access method (Dial up, ISDN, ADSL, ADSL2 etc).
- Internet Service Provider (ISP) bandwidth allowances and speed ‘shaping’ restrictions on user accounts.
Websites should be accessible to as many people as possible. This means making special provisions in the design so that people with physical disabilities, that may restrict their use of computer, can still access your website.
The W3C has set up a Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) which develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with physical disabilities.
Some of the concepts of accessible Web design that we adopt are listed below:
- Images & animations must also include alternate text that describe the function of the visual.
- Provide captioning and transcripts of audio, and descriptions of video.
- Web links and buttons need to use text that makes sense when read out of context.
- Page organisation and layout must have a consistent structure.
- CSS must be used for layout and style where possible.
- Meaningful titles must be used.
- Line-by-line reading of tables must make sense.
Web designers used to use HTML tables to organise information on web pages. This method is not considered ‘good practice’ today. The alternative method of layout is referred to as Tableless or CSS Layout.
Tableless Layout describes the industry preferred method of organising material on a web page using cascading style sheets (CSS). Although more work for the Web Designer (this is why some web designers still use tables for page layout), CSS layout has many advantages.
- CSS layout is faster for the user (pages load quicker).
- CSS is far easier to maintain than HTML Tables (on-going maintenance costs are reduced).
- Centralised changes can quickly alter the look and layout of the entire website.
- Web pages using CSS layout are much more accessible than the older method of Table based layouts (more users can access the website).
- CSS layout is more search engine friendly. Your website will be found more easily by your customers and clients.
Note: Modern WEB uses CSS to layout all it’s websites.
The World Wide Web Consortium W3C develops specifications and guidelines for web development. To gain W3C ‘validation’ means that a web page (comprising HTML and CSS code) has passed 100% of the W3C testing algorithms.
We support and encourage websites that are 100% validated.
Web pages that pass W3C validation maximises the chance of your site operating as designed on the different browsers that are used around the world (Browser Statistics, Browser Display Statistics, Mobile Devices Statistics, OS Platform Statistics, Internet Explorer Browser Statistics):
- Internet Explorer
- The Mozilla Suite (Gecko, Netscape)
For example, this W3C link will test this web page. Try it!
Click here to validate
Not all Browsers are the same!
To make life interesting for the web developer, browsers do not all perform in exactly the same manner. A website may look perfect on Internet Exployer but not on Firefox, or vice versa.
For this reason we test our websites on the following browsers:
- Internet Explorer 6
- Internet Explorer 7
- Internet Explorer 8
- Internet Explorer 9 (they all work differently!)
- Chrome and