Attractive Pages

      HTML, the computer language used to deliver Web sites, is still rather primitive but is rapidly becoming more sophisticated. In order to assure that surfers using different computers and Web browser software all see attractive, functioning Web pages, we must observe a number of cautions when building pages.

    Display Issues

      Standards for computer displays are not yet implemented, so the same image will display differently on different systems. For the moment, there is not much to be done about this. However, graphics prepared on Apple systems will always display rather differently on Windows systems. Since the vast majority of surfers are using Windows systems, it is important to prepare graphics on a Windows system, so they look good on most systems. It is possible to slant the settings so the graphics will still display reasonably well on Apple systems.

      Most Web site developers are using high-end systems running "True Color," and many fail to allow for surfers who will not view the page under such favorable circumstances. We use a number of techniques to assure that a site looks reasonably good on all systems.


    Screen Resolution

      When we design pages on a large monitor, we keep in mind that most surfers are using smaller, lower resolution monitors to view the finished pages. We currently design our pages to display best on systems running at 800 by 600 pixels because that resolution is the most commonly used today. However, a site must still be usable at 640 by 480 resolution. On this site, we accommodate low-resolution systems by allowing the user to close the navigation pane, so the main part of the page can be viewed without scrolling.

Text can be too small.
Or too big.

    Line Length

      With care, pages can be built so that the lines of text are neither too long nor to short for easy reading, regardless of the screen resolution of the system or the size of the browser window.


      Typographic refinement is still in the future on the Web. There are ways to display critical text, such as your logo or service mark, in a specific font. Control over font size is also limited. Pages developed on Apple systems often display type at sizes too small for easy reading when viewed on a Windows system.

    Different Browsers

      Different browsers are likely to display the same Web page in different ways. In fact, some pages may not even load on some browsers. We know how to use HTML in ways that minimize these problems.


      Quite a few surfers are still not using frames-capable browsers. We continue to consider their needs when designing a Web site.

    Image Compression

      Even the showpiece sites of some organizations building Web sites sometimes fail to use the right form of image compression, resulting in an image that does not look good on the page and takes longer than necessary to download. You want attractive images quickly delivered to those surfing your site.

These two images take the same time to download.


      The restrained use of backgrounds makes sites much more user friendly. We used the light gray background texture to the right because the short text is still easily readable and the page is more attractive.

This text is readable.


      Color makes sites attractive. However, staring at a strong background color is hard on the eye. In addition, strong colors in secondary page elements can be distracting. We use color carefully, to make attractive but restful sites.
This is hard on the eye.

    Character Sets

      The Apple and the PC use different character sets. Characters such as common ligatures (fi, fl, ffi), typographic dashes, quotation marks, and characters with diacritical marks can display as the wrong character. We can keep this problem from arising on your site.

This is not a typographic reÞnement.
It's a mistake.
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