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The web is totally a different medium and web design styles must recognize
this. The web is not a replica of the paper.
Earlier web design styles used to resemble a newspaper. The layout, paragraph arrangement etc was similar to a news paper but soon web design professionals realized that both has to be treated differently.
The Web is Not Paper.
The web is a relatively new medium. In fact, it's often referred to as just that, 'new media', and practical graphic design on the web is still less than ten years old, by all accounts. This fact means that plenty of so-called web designers are really just print graphic designers trying to transfer their old ways onto a computer screen. What you have to remember though, is that the web is not paper.
Paper Doesn't Scroll.
Some of the matter found here that is pertaining to paper and web design seems to be quite obvious. You can scroll a web site to any length you want but with paper you can't do that.
If your web design had to fit entirely onto one sheet of A4, you're doing
your visitors a disservice. Text on the web has a potential infinite amount of
space. Why make me press a button to go to your next page? Are you stupid? Are
you just trying to increase your page views and ad views, or what? Stick to the
rule of one page for one article, and you'll do much better.
Paper Has No Bandwidth Issues.
Ever thought of this? When you are on to your web design project, you have to take care of the bandwidth aspects too. Where as, in the case of paper it different.
You can cover a sheet of paper in all the pretty pictures and backgrounds you like, and it still doesn't take any longer to pick it up and read it. That's just not true on the web. I'm sure you abandoned dial-up years ago, no doubt, but there are still plenty of people out there using the web at those kinds of speeds. It's downright rude to make them sit and wait while your design loads, when all they wanted to do was read some text.
Columns Work on Paper.
Columns just do not work on the web! Remember this in your web design efforts. It has to take a different style. Whereas, a paper is all about columns.
One of the biggest issues with print designers find it difficult to get over
is the web's lack of columns. You really, really can't do columns on the web.
You just can't. It doesn't work. You have to spend hours writing a set of custom
scripts, only to break functions like text selection and browser resizing that
your visitors would rather have seen work properly – not to mention that reading
left-to-right on a computer screen is unexpected and altogether quite
unpleasant. Get over yourself, and leave your columns on the paper, where they
Paper Isn't Linked.
One of the easiest ways to spot a site designed by a print guy is by looking for the links. If there aren't any, the chances are the designer used to do paper layouts. Even more so if they've added notes like 'go to our downloads page to see...' you can link to it, you know! Don't be afraid to link far more than you'd think is sensible. Linking is what the web is all about.
Paper Will Only Be Seen One Way.
Web pages, on the other hand, will be seen in a variety of web browsers, at all sorts of sizes, in lots of different fonts... the list goes on. It's daft to think that you can control the way your website looks to every visitor: what you're doing is offering a set of guidelines, for their software to interpret however it wants. If they choose to make all their fonts massive because they have trouble seeing, who are you to set your page to override that? Yet many designers do.
This is one of the reasons why web design professionals advise you to test your lay out on many browsers. Your website can display differently with different browsers.
Never forget that your role isn't to make sure that everyone sees the design exactly as you intended.. what you're trying to do, really, is let as many people as possible see the site, and make it look as close to the intended design as possible, if it doesn't interfere with their wishes. That's the difference between a user-hostile website and a user-friendly one. If you're not a print designer, you're probably nodding your head – and if you are then, well, I suggest you take some time to think it over.
The End of Paper?
No way! As a guy into web design all you have to know is that both are different medias. And both can co-exist with its own specialties and uses.
Paper and the web aren't adversaries by any means: the web is highly unlikely to destroy paper layouts as we know them, no matter how many 'technologists' might predict it. The important thing, though, is that paper and the web are different, and you need to realize that their differences are something to be celebrated, not worked around. The best layout for the same content will be very different on the web to the way it is on paper. But, in the end, why is that bad?
Hope this article on web design will take away the 'paper syndrome' from your mind. Many other information is hidden in this on web design. Find them!.
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