2. Color and Graphics
Color as design tool
Color is an extremely powerful tool for Web designers. It can make or break an entire site. And, the best guide for determining which color to use is your instinct. The problem is, no two people react to color in exactly the same way. So although your instinct is saying "BLUE", you might have a teammate that is shouting "RED.
Cultural biases are another issue to take into consideration. If your team is ethcnically diverse, or includes team members in distant locations, you may confront how different cultures perceive color in different ways. The best way to address these issues is to agree as a team from the early stages of development what color choices will work best for everyone.
Brainstorm with your team what kind of Web site you want to create. Do you want it to be bright and vibrant? Do you want to invoke mystery? Maybe you're looking for a style that represents technology. Once you've agreed on the style of the site, create your own color palette that best supports that style.
But, you should remember that there are only 216 browser-safe colors to choose from. For one of the best introductions to Web color visit Lynda Weinman's browser-safe color palette .
Color as navigation tool
Color can also be a very effective tool for navigation. The key is to keep color in navigation simple, elegant and consistent:
Graphic size and style
You've probably already discovered the importance of keeping your design consistent, but have you given much thought to keeping the size of your graphics consistent?
This is especially important if you are aligning graphics for a navigation bar. A few pixels difference can change the layout of your entire page. The following includes some important tips for consistent graphics size:
When you do use graphics on your Web page, make sure that they will be worth your reader's time to download them, especially since most of your readers will probably be using slower connections. (Also, check out The Yale Style Manual for useful guidance to using graphics.)
Use text, small icons, or thumbnails
Thumbnails are smaller versions of a larger image. Many image processing programs have the ability to save an image in a reduced size that takes up much less memory. This in effects lets you create your own custom icons to give the reader a smaller version of what you want to show them.
Use ALT= labels
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