Design

This section covers graphic design principles and concepts that relate to web design. In general these pages are more theoretical and conceptual. Much of the “how to” part of implementing the design ideas can be found in the Page Elements section. One area, Layout, is big enough that it also gets its own section on the main navigation of the site. That section also has “how to” tutorials.

Design on the web is more than just making things look pretty. It is about presenting the content of the site in a way that is both easy to see, understand and interact with while at the same time using visual design principles to create a specific atmosphere or feeling for the site. In other words people should be able to find what they are looking for while at the same time get whatever feeling about the site that it’s owners want to evoke.

For example on this site the feelings we were trying to evoke were ones of simplicity, ease, authority and straightforwardness. So there is a general lack of images and a focus on the text along with just enough whitespace to not make it feel too crowded.

The ideas, rules and principles covered here are ones that you should definitely learn and pay attention to, but like all rules they are made to be broken, if you have a good reason. Often it’s easiest to start of following the rules strictly and then begin to loosen up on them as you master them.

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