Savvy Computing
Dressing Up a Web Site Without Overdressing It

January 2003
by Reid Goldsborough

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Whether you’ve created a sophisticated business Web site or a homegrown site for the family, you undoubtedly can do more with it. Just don’t do too much.
Striking a healthy balance between making a Web site quick to navigate and enhancing it with bells and whistles has always been a key challenge with Web design. I’m a firm believer in the Jakob Nielsen school, which espouses the view that simple is better.”Use the KISS principle,” says Nielsen, who’s principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, author of 10 books on computer usability, and the world’s preeminent expert of Web site design. In other words, keep it simple… silly.
Yet there are times when you want to dress up a site and make it stand out from the crowd. As long as you keep in mind that the user experience is paramount (otherwise you won’t have users), there’s no reason not to incorporate such enhancements as an attractive “theme,” clip art or photos, and JavaScript interactivity.

Themes & Templates
A theme is a set of graphically designed page headers, footers, site navigation bars, columns, and tables. They’re not only dressy; they also keep your pages consistent which helps users get around more easily.
Programs such as Microsoft FrontPage come packaged with plenty of themes, but you still may not find anything quite right. The FrontPage Stars WebRing, at Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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