Hints for Web Design
Here are some basic rules for designing usable websites. The internet would be a much more pleasant place if everyone followed these rules.
Different programs can produce surprisingly divergent results when exporting pictures for the web. For example, for two thumbnail images of book covers I recently posted there was a 3x size difference depending on which program I used. One of the images took 1/3 the space when compressed using Preview.app, the other when using ImageMagick. It's good that I looked at the file sizes before posting, and knew to try another program.
If the image you are compressing is a PNG, try pngcrush. Depending on the image, you can usually save about 15% of the filesize.
- Usability should always win over showing off.
targetto open a new window. If I want a new window, I'll open it manually.
- If you are thinking of creating a popup window, stop to think if you really need it. Most of the time you don't. A notable exception is AJAX calendars.
- If you are thinking of using Flash, stop to think if you really need it. Most of the time you don't. The chances of needing to use Flash are vanishingly small.
- Do not play a video or sound without the user first clicking on a play button. I cannot think of a single time I wanted a media file to automatically start.
- Design your site to look good on any size monitor. It must be usable on 13 inch notebooks, 9 inch netbooks, and iPhones, not just your 22 inch desktop or 17 inch laptop.
- Use proper HTML character codes. A common mistake is to use Windows curved quotes instead of the proper HTML quotes (“”).