good html style l.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Good HTML Style PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Good HTML Style

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 24

Good HTML Style - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Good HTML Style Style Guides There are many HTML style guides on the Web One of the best is from Yale, This talk is based on that style guide Another is from the W3C,

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Good HTML Style' - Ava

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
style guides
Style Guides
  • There are many HTML style guides on the Web
  • One of the best is from Yale,
    • This talk is based on that style guide
  • Another is from the W3C,
  • One of the more enjoyable sites is
    • Motto: “Where you learn good Web design by looking at bad Web design”
  • One of my favorite books on the subject:
    • Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug, Roger Black
know who you re trying to reach
Know who you’re trying to reach
  • What is your target audience?
    • The general public (Web surfers)
      • Like a magazine cover, your home page should lure people in
        • Use strong graphics and bold statements
        • In the fewest words possible, tell visitors what you offer
        • All your links should point “inward” to your pages
    • Occasional visitors
      • Navigation should be simple and obvious
      • Use overview pages, helpful icons, FAQs, and simple organization
    • Experts and frequent visitors
      • Provide well-organized information quickly with a minimum of fuss
      • Avoid fancy graphics, slow-loading pages, and “fluff”
      • Provide site maps and search facilities
    • International users
      • Use standard, easily understood language
      • Consider providing pages in a variety of languages
      • Avoid region-specific time and date formats, like 10-12-2002
know what you re trying to do
Know what you’re trying to do
  • A page without a purpose is like a talk without a topic
  • Are you trying to sell something?
    • Air freshener: Use beautiful outdoor scenes
    • Underarm deodorant: Beautiful people (women and men)
    • Computers: Attractive pictures and technical specs
    • Yourself: See any book on writing resumes
  • Are you trying to convey information?
    • Use a clear organization with a table of contents
    • For many topics, a FAQ is often appropriate
new media require new formats
New media require new formats
  • Books existed well before Gutenberg’s 1456 Bible
  • Here are some “interface standards” for books:
    • Books have covers
    • Books are bound along the left edge (in the USA)
    • The title is on the spine, top to bottom (in the USA)
    • Books have a title page
    • The pages of a book are numbered
      • Odd-numbered pages are on the right
      • The front matter is numbered with Roman numerals
    • Textbooks have a table of contents and an index
  • How long after Gutenberg did it take to establish these standards?
    • Answer: Gradually, over more than 100 years
web pages are not books
Web pages are not books
  • Standards are evolving rapidly, but are not “finished”
  • The Web brings new abilities:
    • Publishing is cheap; anyone can do it
      • “When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. I'm beginning to believe it.” - Clarence S. Darrow
    • Hyperlinks allow nonlinear access to information
    • Search engines make finding information much easier
      • I used to have hundreds of bookmarks; now I use Google
  • The Web brings new challenges:
    • Users can get “lost in hyperspace”
      • Good navigation tools are essential
    • Surfers flit on by, like TV “channel surfers”
      • You have maybe ten seconds to convey your message
very general suggestions
Very general suggestions
  • Good writing was, is, and always will be important
    • Everything you ever learned about writing well still applies
  • Use a spell checker
    • Bad spelling puts off good spellers
    • Practically every piece of software includes a spell checker
  • Don’t use a grammar checker--they all stink
    • If you are not a native English speaker, they may point out some trivial grammatical errors
    • If you don’t see the reason for their advice, it’s probably wrong
  • Make each page stand by itself
    • You don’t know how someone got here
    • Don’t use page titles like “Introduction” that require context
questions you should answer
Questions you should answer
  • The reader should be able to discover:
    • Who wrote the page?
      • You find a page on lung cancer. Was it written by (a) the American Medical Association, (b) someone who works for Philip Morris, or (3) a plumber in Hoboken?
    • What is the page about?
      • If you have nothing to say, don’t say it
      • Use a clear, short title--it may become a bookmark
    • When was the page written/updated?
      • You find a page about a great new drug available “next month”
      • Another page describes the “latest version” of some software
    • Where is the page?
      • Who wrote the page? Who sponsors it?
      • If I print the page out, will I ever find it on the Web again?
build clear navigation aids
Build clear navigation aids
  • When someone accesses your site:
    • What are they likely to be looking for?
    • How sophisticated are they?
    • Hardly anyone does enough user testing
  • A common problem: you find an interesting page, but you don’t know what pages “surround” it
    • Are pages organized in a simple and consistent way?
    • Can the visitor find her way to the home page?
    • Can the user tell if she’s still in the same site?
    • Button bars are good, but don’t omit text links
    • Avoid dead-end pages (those with no links)
help visitors find pages in your site
Help visitors find pages in your site
  • If you have many pages, you can use menu levels...
    • Look at the table of contents in a textbook; usually, there are main section headers, with subheaders
  • ...but users do not like lots of little menus
    • Studies show that users prefer dense menus with lots of choices over little, one-step-at-a-time menus
    • “Site maps” (basically, an extensive table of contents) have become popular
  • Not everyone loads graphics by default
    • Image maps are nice, but keep the text links anyway
    • Think about making pages available to the disabled
  • Consider adding a search engine to your site
  • Don’t make it easy to accidentally leave your site
    • Distinguish between local links and links that take the visitor offsite
    • Give your pages a consistent “look”
put the important stuff on top
Put the important stuff on top
  • Web pages are usually bigger than the window they are viewed in
    • The first thing visitors see is the top of your Web page
    • Many visitors will never scroll down
  • The top of a page should tell visitors what they need to know about the page
    • If a visitor is lost inside your site, she may not notice links at the bottom of the page
    • Often, links at top and bottom are a good idea
      • This is especially true for a linear set of pages, where the links are Previous, Next, and (maybe) Home or Table of Contents
organize your pages
Organize your pages
  • Any organization is better than no organization
  • A hierarchy (tree) usually works best
    • Put most important or most general concepts near the top
    • Lower pages are more specific
  • Trees shouldn’t be too deep
    • Users don’t like to step down through multiple pages to find the one they want
  • Trees shouldn’t be “flat”
    • Users don’t like to wade through a huge list of links to find the one they want
  • Draw a picture of your site!
other organizations


Pages to be read in order, with Previous and Next links

This design is most often seen in tutorials, or in fiction

Other organizations
graphics on your home page
Graphics on your home page
  • The “home page” is your intended starting point for visitors to your site
    • Nice graphics make your page look better
    • Complex graphics make your page load more slowly
  • Who is your target audience?
    • Potential clients
      • Appearance is important...
      • ...but most users won’t wait more than 7 or 8 seconds for a page to load
    • Existing clients, students, employees
      • Getting information quickly is most important
updating sites
Updating sites
  • Many types of sites must be updated frequently
    • Using a New! graphic may help point out changes
      • But how long does an item remain “new”?
      • Dates on items are more informative
    • If information is spread out over many pages, a central What’s Newpage may be a good idea
    • I typically put dated announcements at the top (good) and add material at the bottom (maybe not so good)
  • For many sites a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page, with answers, is very helpful
    • A FAQ is especially helpful to beginners in an area
    • The current best site seems to be
  • Biggest problem with FAQs is that many of them are “fakes”
    • A company puts out a FAQ about its product that obviously doesn’t answer questions from real users
      • “What is the biggest benefit of using XYZ hair spray?”
    • Don’t lie to your customers!
design standards
Design standards
  • Without question, a company should have design standards for company Web pages
    • Problems:
      • Established groups and individuals have already developed their own standards and are reluctant to change
      • The wrong people may be put in charge of defining the design standards
        • They may know little or nothing about existing standards
        • They may decide on “too many” standards--things that may be a good idea individually, but don’t work well together
        • They may take forever to finish, so standards are coming “any day now”
        • They have their own goals, and ignore or forget the user
site covers
Site “covers”
  • A site cover is a page that comes before the home page
    • Typically, they just add another mouse click and waste the user’s precious time
    • If it doesn’t add any value, users don’t want to see it more than once
  • An informational site, such as a newspaper, can have a cover that provides links to the various sections
  • A reference site, such a s Yahoo!, should “have its menu posted on the front door”
  • A handsome site cover may add interest to an art or entertainment site
use tables
Use tables
  • HTML <table>s are your best tool for arranging text and graphics on a page
    • For simply arranging things, use tables without borders
    • Use borders if you want it to look like a table
    • Don’t use pixel values for heights and widths--that takes too much freedom away from the user
      • Use percentages instead
types of graphics
Types of graphics
  • There only three kinds of graphics you can use on the Web:
    • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
      • Good for pictures with only a few colors
      • There are some legal problems involved
    • JPG or JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
      • Good for photographs
    • PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
      • Modern, fancy, good for everything
      • Not supported by older browsers
gif files
GIF files
  • GIF is the most common file format
    • You can specify, in a GIF file, how many colors to use (2, 4, 8, 16, etc.)
      • The fewer colors, the smaller the file
      • This is great for charts, cartoons, etc.
    • GIFs are lossless--you can exactly recreate the original image
    • GIFs can be animated
    • GIFs can be interlaced
      • This allows pictures to appear quickly and get sharper
    • GIFs can have a transparent color
      • This lets you use arbitrary shapes on any background
    • UNISYS owns the patent on GIFs, and has tried to make people pay for using them
jpg files
JPG files
  • JPEGs provide a superior compression scheme when there are color gradients in the image
    • That is, for every photograph
    • JPEGs are lossy-- some information is lost in the compression, and the information is interpolated (faked) when the picture is recreated
    • You can set the compression ratio--the more compression, the smaller the file, and the more information is lost
    • JPEGs do a very good job of recreating photographs
    • JPEGs don’t do a good job of recreating diagrams and line drawings
png graphics
PNG Graphics
  • PNG has three main advantages:
    • Alpha channels: you can have variable (partial) transparency
    • Gamma correction, so you can get the same colors on different platforms
    • Two-dimensional interlacing
  • PNG also provides:
    • Better compression than GIF
    • A less convenient way to do animations
    • No legal hassles