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Graphics sensibly used can be an important aspect of your web design. It makes the web page appealing and interesting. But are we doing it in the right way in our web design strategies?
Graphics must be fast loading. Keep this in mind in your web design efforts.
There is no point in having a website that does not load before the visitor has
already moved away to some other sites!.
The Smaller, the Better: Avoiding Graphical Overload.
KISS is a simple and important concept in web design. That is 'Keep It Simple Stupid'
When you're designing your website, it's easy to start loading it up with graphics, creating images that you think look good and piecing them together to make a design. While it's a tempting way to do things, you have to try to avoid it as much as possible – otherwise, you'll end up with graphical overload. Why is that a bad thing? Here's why.
People just are not patient enough. Your web design on graphics should be in such a way that the visitor is served fast. So make sure that your primary objective in your web design is to have fast loading pages and graphics.
It Takes Too Long to Download.
The first reason to cut down on graphics is that the more there are, and the larger they are, the longer it will take each of your pages to download. Now that many people have broadband connections, they're much more impatient than they used to be when it comes to waiting for pages to download: in most cases, you have around five seconds before your visitors start hitting the Back button.
What can you do about this, apart from using fewer pictures? Well, you can also make sure that you resize your images in a graphics editor so that their file sizes get smaller. If you just resize images by specifying a width and height in HTML or CSS, then they still take just as long to download as they would have, without the extra time serving any useful purpose.
There are also many specialize tools available to reduce the KB size of your graphics. Some of these tools should be part of your web design kit.
You can also go for grahpic formats that takes up less KB Size. So add such a tool to your web design kit that can convert the format of your graphics into less KB Size format. JPEG files fits the best.
Also, you might want to consider turning on compression in your image editor:
JPEG files especially can often be compressed by 20-30% before there's any
noticeable difference to the human eye. Try out different formats and
compression levels to see what works.
It Gets Too Busy.
Ever been to a website that has numerous graphics that has taken eons to load? Did you ever wanted your web design efforts to follow the example of such a site?
If you've ever tried to use a site that has more than three or four different
images on the page at once, you'll know what I mean by that. Your eye is forced
to dart all over the page, not sure where to focus: the page simply has too much
going on at once. Instead of making your site busy by loading it up with
graphics, you should try your best to keep it as simple as you can.
Know that it is text that people wants to read. Your web design must focus on text more than bulky graphics. Big graphics go put off people.
Internet is an information medium and people come to your site for information. When you are at your web design project, remmeber this basic thruth. You will not tempted to go for excessive graphics.
One thing I would suggest is that you take a look at the front pages of a few newspapers, and notice how they only ever lead on one picture. Putting two pictures on a front page is considered to be very bad: the reader doesn't know where to look. That goes double for websites, where the viewable area is much smaller than a newspaper page. Even if you have more than one thing to say, it's better to 'go large' with one picture and then explain the other things in text, next to it or below it.
It Distracts from the Content.
Don't forget that most of the people on your site are there to get information, not to look at your graphics. Too many graphics will distract visitors from your content, or, worse, even hide it from them, forcing them to look around before they find it. Any time your graphics get in the way of people using your site, you're suffering from graphical overload.
What's the solution to this one? You simply need to think about whether all those graphics are really needed – the chances are, they're not. Don't just add graphics because you think they look nice. Every graphic on your site should have a purpose.
An Exception: Photo Galleries.
If photography is the purpose of your site, then you obviously shouldn't be afraid to put a lot of graphics on one page. However, you really shouldn't just post large photographs one after the other. Instead, you need to provide thumbnails: smaller versions of each image, with the visitor being able to click on one to make it larger.
This lets you fit more pictures on each page, and avoids visitors having to spend their time and your bandwidth downloading files that they don't want to see. You can even add 'back' and 'next' navigation to each photo page, so the visitor doesn't have to go back to the thumbnails to see your next photo, if they want to see them all.
Hope these simple tips on graphics will aid you to have a better web design. Many other aspects of web design are covered through out this site. Make sure to access them all.
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