Web Design Tips
Backgrounds are a great idea in some websites,
and an absolute horror in others. Some designers detest the default gray
colour which you see in lots of Windows programs. Other designers argue
that Microsoft spent millions testing and analysing to get that gray colour,
so it must be okay!
Personally I think that the use of 'white
space' is very important. Computers may be new (relative term) but publishing
and painting has been around for centuries, and many tried and true methods
are applicable to web design. Newspapers didn't arrive at their column
structures by accident.
Before we go in to too much depth, some basics
must be observed. Don't use colour combinations of text and background
that make the text hard to read. Some of your visitors may be colour blind,
and certainly won't be there long if they can't read your pages. Different
colours can convey different meanings and feelings. This varies from culture
to culture, so think about your target market. White has a completely
different meaning in Japan from Western thinking.
Try not to use busy, distracting backgrounds that also make the text hard to read. Snow falling may be a pleasant theme as Christmas approaches, but is it really helping you to convey your message or is it distracting from that?
Don't use large photos as backgrounds. Pictures
take longer to download, and while broadband solves this problem immensely,
much of the world is still using dial up modems, and won't wait around
all day while a photo loads in the background before they can read the
text. This is where the 15 second rule for page download time takes effect.
Apparently that is the optimum "hang about time".
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