The Recipe for a Good Web Page

By: Kristel Brown, SNN Reporter
Roncalli Central High
Port Saunders, NF

Web Useability and designing sites that work is a part of Human-Computer Interactions.

Scott Martin, web designer for Xwave Solutions focused on a presentation which emphasized how to build a good site that is user friendly and easy to navigate. Martin provided some of the do's and do not's when producing or designing a site for the Internet.

To create a user friendly page one should stick to the following guidelines; make it easy on the eyes, use a column format that provides a better readability (keep in mind that readability should come first), use colors sparingly (four or less per page is recommended), try to keep the navigation very consistent and simple, and the text you use should be black on a white background. An excellent example of a web site you could visit is,

View a clip of Scott
Martin's presentation

Another do is to speed up your site by using jpeg for picture format and gifs for web elements such as buttons and graphics. As well, when you use graphics make sure they are essential to your site. Background graphics should be optimized, keep them low in size because they're loaded first. To improve optimization, do not have photos on the same page as the text. If you want to have photos you should create links to them. A final do in the creation of a good web page is to ensure that a master page is created in which every page in your site is accessible from that page. A site that is an example of good optimization is

The do-nots of web design that were addressed by Mr. Martin included the following: One, do not use animated gifs. Two, avoid fixed - width tables. Three, make sure your page has no dead links. Four, do not use pages which open new browser windows, and/or banner ads.

One last thing to remember is that if you decide to use tables on your page you need to aware that are unpredictable and may not display properly. Thus, screen readers that are often used by the visually impaired may have difficulty with tables.

There's more information available on web page design if you visit Scott Martin's personal web site at . The web page has been worked on since 1996 and consists of pictures of Newfoundland and a detailed presentation of web page design. For a web page enthusiast it is a great place to visit, I recommend it.