Web Design Evolution for Common Thesis
- Length: 11 pages
- Sources: 8
- Subject: Education - Computers
- Type: Thesis
- Paper: #57367248
Excerpt from Thesis :
Skills must be honed that create a functional page that users will view and use as the client hopes them to.
Many new Web designers produce Web pages that seem to ignore fundamental principles of "good design": full of colored backgrounds, animated pictures, multiple colors and styles of text, and little to no navigation or Web-based structure. Even in courses devoted to Web design, students still produce pages that lack unity, coherence and emphasis: "though they [students] seem to understand (and can critique) others' efforts, they're stymied when it's time for production. Few have the skills or experience writing in this medium" (Yancey & Wickliff, 2001, p. 180). Similarly, individuals working on their own or working from documentation struggle with being able to create Web pages due to the same lack of experience writing on the Web.
For this reason, relative examples, as explained in the previous subheading may provide the best clues for how the website should look in HTML and in a browser. The work must be balanced and usable, on every level and must be supported by the system it is intending to serve to update content and repair bad links and other such issues.
Dix 42) Balance, color, content accuracy, and most of all simplicity interspersed in a very usable format are the keys to web design, beyond the basic principles of writing in HTML. To some degree the issue of professionalism and the ethics to seek out greater knowledge when the designer is facing information he or she does not yet know is also essential to meeting the clients' and users' needs.
Zhu, Vu, and Proctor 324)
Once a web page is created, utilizing basic design principles, such as clarity, balance, proper editing of text and other design and ease of use principles it is essential that the designer, client and proposed user test the functionality of the webpage, prior to it going live, or being uploaded to a live web server. The designer needs to see that the functionality of the page is associated with all the basic research and information that had been given to him or her at the onset and that the design meets the clients, needs as the designer understands them to be.
The client must test the functionality of the page, before it goes live to see that the webpage does everything they envisioned it doing, now and in the future and everything they believe they communicated to the designer at the onset. Simply viewing the page, especially in print for will not suffice, as the client must utlize the page in hypertext form, see how it makes them feel and see if it is reflective of their needs.
A user (even a plant user) must also view and interact with the design, offering feedback about how it functions, how it makes them feel and how motivated they might be to use it in the future. If the site is an information only site the user might be asked if they learned novel information about the organization and its intentions if they believe such information is available elsewhere or if they are moved by the information to act, if that is the intent. If the site offers sales of merchandise the view-ability and accuracy of the merchandise might be reviewed as well as the functionality of the internal or external purchasing support. These three fundamental tests should be conducted and then the designer should go back and make any changes he or she thinks need made based upon the directives of the organization. Additionally, end users become test subjects, and the support of the design must be reflective of the whole system.
Technical (Hardware Support)
The best possible web design for any purpose is useless without assurance that the equipment to support it exists and is online. The designer may need to meet with the it support staff and depending on the needs and access of the site the designer may need to direct the organization to purchase additional technology or subscribe to additional resources to offer and serve the site as it needs. "Sometimes it is easier to start with broader sets of principles, such as procedures for overriding, technology, people/organization, systems management/tools and processes. These can then be augmented or refined as needed for particular projects." (Edlund 22) Server, either internal or external must be equipped to serve the level of traffic on the site that is expected and the software and technology used for processing secure transactions must be in place if the design features purchasing options.
Because any complete e-business solution is necessarily an amalgam of different technologies and disciplines, it is almost impossible to separately address network design (or any other aspect) outside the context of related application development, systems integration, management and security issues. For the sake of brevity, and before we introduce these principles, let's assume that we are about to develop a typical e-business website. Because it will be part of a corporate extranet and will support transactions (sales, database inquiry, other I/O functions), it must meet general, basic requirements for high availability, functionality and performance. To these we add the core systems and network management disciplines: problem management, change management, performance management, availability management and security.
The designer must understand the technological functions needed to support his or her design and if he or she does not them he or she needs to know where to look and who to ask for such information.
Universal usability is defined as the ability of the client, designer and the user to access and easily use all the functional capacities of a design. To facilitate this the practice must begin with good design, as is associated with design principles and the proper software and hardware support for it.
Not only does this mean that end users become test subjects, but the distributed nature of the Web makes it hard to observe them in actual use. However, the fact that the Web is intrinsically networked and that much of this goes through a single server can also have advantages. It is possible to use logs of Web behavior to search for potential usability problems. For example, in an e-commerce site, we may analyze the logs and find that many visitors leave the site at a particular page. If this is the postsale page we would be happy, but if it is before they make a purchase, then we may want to analyze that page in detail. This may involve bringing in some test subjects and trying them out on a task that involves the problematic page, it may be to use detailed heuristics in that page, or it may be simply to eyeball it.
The client and the designer must be ensured through access to the site that it is being used effectively and efficiently, to as great a degree as possible. The process begins with the initial design research and development and then the pre-live testing. The concept of universal usability is one of intrinsic importance as the design is of no use if it does not do what was intended by it and if it does not create an experience of universal usability for further development and support.
Design becomes additionally useless if the site is not supported by the organization that asked for its development in the first place. The need for rapid response to technical and usability issues is essential, and relying on simple feedback for users is not always key, because the user cannot be watched to see if the site is hit but not used or if the user is simply so frustrated with the design that he or she logs off without linking to any other additional information. Rapid response time on queries regarding website use and any other functional problems should be in place prior to going live with any page. Finally, the role of support is also to develop a set of guiding statistics to understand and view data supporting the use of a design, in other words the number of hits vs. The number of users, how long they stayed to look (or buy), and if they offer feedback about the design.
This work describes the basic trend of web design, becoming much more easy to do. Novice designers must then seek out software, information and research that helps them key in to what it is the client needs form their services and respond with a design that meets the criteria for good design and technological and universal usability. Designing functional websites, with the basic principles and tools of design, as well as ability to use a PC, basic HTML software and most importantly translate the needs of the client to the design being produced is an essential creative process that must be supported by end user reactions…