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Tutorial 2 Planning and Designing a Successful Web Site. Planning and Designing a Successful Web Site. In this tutorial, you will: Determine the site goals Identify the target audience Conduct market research Create end-user scenarios Design the information architecture.

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Tutorial 2

Planning and Designing a Successful Web Site

Dreamweaver MX

Tutorial 2


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Planning and Designing a Successful Web Site

  • In this tutorial, you will:

    • Determine the site goals

    • Identify the target audience

    • Conduct market research

    • Create end-user scenarios

    • Design the information architecture

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Introducing Dreamweaver MX

  • In this Chapter, you will (cont):

    • Create a flow chart and site structure

    • Create a site concept and metaphor

    • Design the site navigation structure

    • Develop the aesthetic concept for the site

    • Create a new site

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

  • First you must determine the goals, audience and expectations for the site.

  • Determining the site goals:

    • Brainstorm to determine what the goals might be – for instance to sell a product, provide information about the product or give help.

    • Sort the goals into order of importance.

    • Review and refine the list, combining goals if possible.

    • Focus on the first four or five in the site design.

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

Sample goals for the Catalyst Web site

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

  • Identifying the target audience:

    • Set up a list of questions to allow you to profile the characteristics of the site users (user profile).

    • Use data gathered from any previous Web sites.

    • Use the determined profile to make content decisions for the site.

    • Focus the design to match the needs of the user profile audience.

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

General user profile questions

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

General user profile questions

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

Sample user profile for the Catalyst site

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

  • Conducting Market Research:

    • Look at the target audiences preferences for your product or service.

    • Evaluate similar products and their Web sites.

    • Use a search engine like Altavista or Google to locate data about the target audience.

    • Review the information to get an understanding of the target audiences habits, etc.

    • Explore sample sites that the target audience frequents, looking at graphics, colors, design, etc.

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

Sample target audience information

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

  • Creating End-User Scenarios:

    • An end-user scenario is an imagined access to a Web site.

    • Scenarios help evaluate in what situations someone might access the Web site and to help them get the information they need.

    • Scenarios help hone the design information and create a more user-friendly site.

  • A few hours of planning can save hours of redesign.

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

Sample End-user scenarios

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Creating a Plan for a New Web Site

Sample End-user scenarios (cont)

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Information Architecture

  • Information Architecture – determining what the site should do and creating a framework to accomplish it.

  • It should:

    • Provide a blueprint for page arrangement

    • Set up site navigation

    • Provide page content organization

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Information Architecture

  • The Web site should be organized into categories that will provide the main navigation paths.

  • The navigation system will appear on every page of the site to facilitate movement through the site.

  • The categories are like the subject sections in a library.

  • You should have no more than 5 main categories.

  • Like a library, you can also include subcategories.

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Information Architecture

Sample Web site categories

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Information Architecture

  • The next step is to create a flow chart from the category outline.

  • A flow chart represents the outline in picture form using geometric shapes and connector lines.

  • In this flow chart, the shapes represent the pages and the lines the interface between them.

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Information Architecture

A sample flow chart with a shape key

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Information Architecture

  • Now you need to gather and organize the content for each page of the Web site.

  • There are many sources to use when gathering information, such as:

    • Company and management team interviews

    • Promotional materials

    • Company documentation including logos and graphics

    • Outside research sources

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Designing a Web Site

  • You will need to set up a site concept (unifying theme) for the Web site.

    • Make a list of words that reinforce the site goals and say what you want the site to convey.

    • Review the artwork and Web sites that appeal to your target audience.

  • Then create a metaphor to use to represent your site concept – such as representing fluidity with lines and colors to represent a river.

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Designing a Web Site

  • There are two main types of Web page design software:

    • Page-centric design which concentrates on the pages and links them afterward and

    • Site-centric design that requires designing the overall site before working on the individual pages.

  • Dreamweaver is a site-centric design package which allows changes at the site level and is more comprehensive.

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Designing a Web Site

  • In designing the site, you will need to consider Accessibility issues so that people with disabilities or assistive devices can also use the site.

  • Dreamweaver has Accessibility Dialogue boxes that can assist in this.

  • There are also many Web sites with information, such as the Macromedia or World Wide Web Consortium sites.

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Designing a Web Site

  • You will also need to select colors for the site:

    • Colors set the tone of the site and create an emotional response from the user.

    • How colors interact can be shown by the RGB (red, green, blue) color wheel.

    • Color can be used for emphasis or to differentiate different categories of information, for instance

    • You should keep your color selection simple and pleasing, using no more that 3 to 6 colors per site.

    • Use your color choices to enhance the mood you desire.

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Designing a Web Site

The RGB Color System

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Designing a Web Site

A sample color Palette (Catalyst site)

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Designing a Web Site

  • You will also need to select colors for the site (cont):

    • Colors should be defined by name and by their hexadecimal color codes.

    • The Web Safe Color Palette of 216 colors was created to add Web site designers.

    • The hexadecimal color code is broken down into #RRGGBB where RR is the amount of red, GG is the amount of green and BB is the amount of blue in the color.

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Designing a Web Site

  • You must also select the fonts or typefaces to be used in the site.

  • There are three main categories or typefaces of fonts to choose from:

  • Serif – for example - Times New Roman

  • Sans-serif - for example – Helvetica

  • Mono – for example – Courier New

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Designing a Web Site

  • Selecting a font also means selecting a size, color and style (such as underlined, bold, or italic).

  • When selecting a font, keep in mind:

    • Less is more – normally two is good, one for the body and another for headings.

    • Convert heading to images – If you create an image from your text, the look will not change on any of the users computers, whether or not they have the correct font on their computer.

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Designing a Web Site

  • When selecting a font, keep in mind (cont):

    • Consider what you are trying to convey - Fonts elicit responses and should be consistent with the site concept and metaphor.

    • Consider accessibility – some users may have trouble reading some fonts or sizes of text.

  • Links are often done in different colors to show status such as unused, active or visited.

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Designing a Web Site

Sample Font choices (Catalyst site)

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Designing a Web Site

  • Graphics add interest and personality. Graphics include images, photos, buttons, logos, etc.

  • To create a consistent cohesive site, the graphics should all follow the same style:

    • Be consistent

    • Add graphics with a purpose

    • Reduce graphics to smallest possible size

    • Consider your audience’s computer capabilities

    • Reinforce your concept and metaphor

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Designing a Web Site

  • With all of your elements (color, font, graphics, etc) selected, sketch out the layout of each page.

    • Remember the site goals and metaphor.

    • Consider ease and appeal.

    • Do a layout sketch and then a comp (comprehensive drawing)

  • When the comps are complete, you need to check your site design, ensuring all of the goals are met, the site is consistent and navigation is easy.

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Designing a Web Site

Sample layout sketches (Catalyst site)

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Creating a New Site

  • With the site design finished, the next step is to create a local site definition.

  • You will need a site name and a local root folder.

  • You will use the Dreamweaver New Site option under Site on the main menu bar.

  • Fill in the information in the dialog box – such as site name, location of local root folder, etc.

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Creating a New Site

Creating the local site definition (Catalyst site)

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Creating a New Site

  • You will also want to create the remote site definition defining where the Web site will be located and how to connect to it.

  • The process to set the remote site definition is basically the same as setting the local.

  • Normally remote access will be through FTP access.

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Creating a New Site

  • There are several FTP options that you will need to set:

    • The full name of the FTP host (available from the host provider)

    • Host directory – location of files on the Web server (available from the host provider)

    • Login name and Password

    • Use Passive FTP – a server parameter (from host)

    • Use Firewall – security option

    • Check In/Out – enables multiple users

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Creating a New Site

Remote Site Definition (Catalyst site)

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Adding Pages to a Defined Site

  • To add pages to your defined site, use the New File command on the File menu in the Site panel.

  • This will automatically associate the page with the site.

  • Each page will need a unique filename.

  • The home page should have the filename index.htm.

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Adding Pages to a Defined Site

New Page command in the Site panel

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Adding Pages to a Defined Site

  • Saving your pages frequently as you work prevents losing data.

  • If you try to exit Dreamweaver or close a page, you will be prompted to save it.

  • All files, including graphics should be saved to the root folder to prevent later complications.

  • The root folder should be organized with subfolders so that it is organized, for instance by page or by file type (html, graphics, etc.)

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Adding Pages to a Defined Site

  • Once a page has been created, you will need to set its properties:

    • Page title – appears in the browser title bar

    • Background – a color or image (or both)

    • Colors – text and hyperlinks (text default is black, visited/active links default is the browser’s default color)

    • Margins – determines where page content is placed

    • Document encoding – how digital codes display

    • Tracing image – allows you to select an image as a guide for the layout

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Adding Pages to a Defined Site

Page properties Dialog Box

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Adding Pages to a Defined Site

Page properties Dialog Box

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Reviewing the HTML Tags

  • The most common language of the Web is Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)

  • HTML:

    • Can be transferred across different computers and operating systems.

    • Uses a series of tags to tell the browser how to display the Web page.

    • Tags usually appear in sets of two (opening and closing tags) and are enclosed within <>.

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Reviewing the HTML Tags

  • HTML (Cont):

    • The closing tag starts with a /.

    • Some tags are required – HTML, head, title, and body.

    • Other tags in the body format the content.

    • Should be reviewed after it is created by Dreamweaver.

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Reviewing the HTML Tags

Basic HTML Tags

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Reviewing the HTML Tags

HTML Code for the Catalyst Home Page

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Reviewing the HTML Tags

Using Code and Design Views to copy page properties – Step 1

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Reviewing the HTML Tags

Using Code and Design Views to copy page properties – Step 2

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Previewing a Site in a Browser

  • Different browsers will often display a Web site differently.

  • To see how a Web site will look to all of your users, you should preview it in several browsers.

  • Dreamweaver will allow you to assign both a primary and secondary browser.

  • You can preview a page using the Preview in Browser option of File on the Site menu bar.

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Previewing a Site in a Browser

Setting up a browser using the Preferences Dialog Box

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Previewing a Site in a Browser

Catalyst Home page previewed in Internet Explorer

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Uploading a Web Site to a Remote Location

  • Once pages are completed, they should be uploaded to your remote site so you can view them .

  • To upload:

    • Connect to the remote server using the Connects button on the Site panel

    • Select all files to be uploaded from the local root folder

    • All dependent files must also be uploaded

    • Use the Put Files button on the Site panel toolbar

    • Disconnect using the Disconnects button

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Uploading a Web Site to a Remote Location

Site panel with Remote and Local Views Displayed

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Uploading a Web Site to a Remote Location

Catalyst Home Page in Explorer, viewed over the Web

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Tutorial Summary

  • You should now be able to:

    • Understand the basic steps in designing a Web site

    • Design the information architecture

    • Create a flow chart and site structure

    • Write a site concept and metaphor

    • Develop the aesthetics for the site

    • Create a new site

    • Upload the Web site to a remote location

    • View the site using a browser

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