Understand The Webdesign Standards
By Dalvin Rumsey
Webdesign must always comply to a set of standards and rules, defined by by national or international bodies, such as the International Organization for Standardization.
Such a standard states for example that: 'Incompleteness of theories underlying the design of interactive software makes it difficult to produce authoritative and specific standards'. (ISO 2002:3)
As you can see for yourself, these standards are only general guidelines, which can be used in one stage or another of the design process for a specific website. As a general rule, the more abstract the guideline, the more suitable it is in informing the earlier stages of design such as the requirements specification. Detailed design needs more specific guidelines, such as 'Apple Human Interface Guidelines'. (Apple.com 2003:1).
Based on the 'theory-based knowledge, experience, and common sense'. (Preece et al. 2002:21), these guidelines and rules have been made from design principles and most importantly state the principle of consistency. This one states the fact that 'designing interfaces must have similar operations and use similar elements for achieving similar tasks'. (ibid. 2002:24). This all leads to the consistency issue.
There are two kinds of consistency when it comes to websites: the internal and the external consistency. The first type can be obtained by maintaining the uniformity within the design, that is for example, by the fact that the 'help' and the 'back' buttons are the same for all pages. The external consistency refers to the similarity of execution of tasks between the physical world and the interface, or, further more, to the use of similar terminology and functional attributes across platforms or commonly used interfaces. For the first similarity in question, we can take as an example the fact that the user can go to a specific location on a map, and for the second type of external consistency, we could look at the 'back' button and the Windows 'minimize', 'maximize' and 'close' buttons. These are used on a very large scale in all the world wide popular interfaces such as 'Internet Explorer'.
In order for a web designer to improve the design of his or her website, reference to guidelines and standards is absolutely necessary, not to speak about actually using the design principles defined by these standards.
Should all these rules be obeyed by any freelancer web designer, websites and webdesign would be a little less wilder world to live and work in.
About the Author
Ecommerce Web Site Design Internet Page Design Solutions SEO Webdesign Dominican Republic .
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