Global Schoolhouse Home Home Base: Harnessing the Power of the WebIntro to NetPBL: Collaborative Project-Based LearningBuilding Collaborative Student Web ProjectsGuide to Conducting Research on the InternetLibrary of References, Readings and ResourcesTable of Contents
Building a
Collaborative
Web Project
Define
Design
Site design
Project site
Web development resources
Web design
Write for the Web
Balance content & presentation
Copyright issues
Summary
Further reading
Deliver

Balance Content and Presentation

The best strategy when creating a Web project is to consistently apply a few basic document design principles to every single Web page you create. The Yale C/AIM Web Style Guide contains some excellent information and guidelines to help you design a simple yet effective Web page.

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The Need for speed

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Bandwidth issues

All of us have been frustrated with the snail's pace of a number of Web pages. Graphics and multimedia files look great on your local hard drive, but send them out over the Web and you could easily frustrate your intended audience.

The reason for this is bandwidth: we don't have enough of it. So the more people who use large graphic files or multimedia, the slower the whole network performs.

Now, this doesn't mean that you don't use multimedia, it just means that it has to be used judiciously. When designing your online project make sure to keep speed in mind. In fact, speed should be the overriding design criterion. In Web design, small means fast. To keep your pages small, you should remember the following rules:

  • Conservative use of graphics. This doesn't mean that the page has to be boring, but it is possible to create a very attractive page through the use of white space.
     
  • Reduce file size. Reduce the number of colors and gradients in an image because they will increase the file size appreciably. A number of shareware programs like Paint Shop Pro Live Internet Connection Required can reduce the size of an image file by reducing the number of colors or pixel size.
      
  • Reuse graphics on multiple pages. Images are stored in the system's cache memory so they load much faster than new images.

Next section: Copyright issues

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