Web design

Design Considerations For Web Designers

Singapore web design rarely have a free choice to do whatever comes into their mind when
it comes to the design of a web page or a website. Graphic designers, web designers
and web developers are constrained by a number of factors other than the visual
appearance of a site and the clients requirements. Whilst a web design Singapore owner may
be able to choose between a variety of hosting platforms running various operating
systems they have no influence over the software and the hardware that the website
users will utilise whilst visiting their site.

Unfortunately due to the constraints of time, cost and other resources, it
is practically impossible to create a design that is suitable and effective
for all users. Consequently it is necessary to identify the hardware and software
used by the websites primary and secondary audiences and to undertake the design
to maximize the effectiveness of the site within the constraints.

Operating System

One of the biggest considerations that a designer should have is to design the
web design company singapore so that it will work well with the most popular operating systems.
Nowadays (June 2009) the most common operating system is Windows (86% of users),
with Windows XP users accounting for 56% of website traffic. Window Vista (Longhorn)
which was introduced after XP now accounts for approximately 25% of traffic.
Mac OS X users come in at about 6% and Linux desktop users come in at a risible

Designers should, as a rule of thumb, attempt to accommodate about 95% of all
users wherever possible. Consequently they will need to design a website and
check it works on multiple versions of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. This will
normally require a web designer who has access to and uses various types of
computer in their offices.

Web Browsers

It is important for the Singapore web design to design for and check there work on all
the major browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome.
Examining recent figures (June 2009) for web usage shows that MSIE accounts
for 57.6% of users and Firefox accounts for 24.2%. Within those figures MSIE
7 is used by 37% of users and MSIE 6 and 8 accounting for 13.9% and 6.3% respectively.
The browser shipped by default on the Mac, Safari, accounts for 5.2% of web
users. The problem for nearly all web designers is that each browser can interpret
what is required differently although the Cascading Sheet Style (CSS) is compliant
with the appropriate standards. Every competent web designer will not only produce
designs that are compliant, but will check them on the browsers that account
for 95% of users.

Monitor Resolution

The next design consideration for the sagacious web designer is the monitor
resolution the users may have. Whilst many users may have high resolution displays
there are still a large proportion of website users that have their screen resolution
at 1280×1024 pixels or less. By designing for 1024×768, web designers will accommodate
this most common resolution, as well as those which are set at any higher resolution.
The Web designer should ensure that all testing of Web sites is done using the
most common screen resolutions.

Connection Speed

Connection speed is another big issue when it comes to design. Whilst superusers
may have ultra fast broadband with connection speeds approaching that which
you would expect on a LAN, the majority of users don’t. In the UK many users
have a home speed of 2Mbit or less (although they may have faster access at
work), with a large number still using lugubrious dial-up. Research based investigations
into System Response Time (SRT) have consistently identified slow page downloading
as an important problem with the web. Although this factor alone is worth careful
consideration by the web designer, perhaps more important than users’ feelings
of dissatisfaction with slow page downloading is the effect of delays in system
response on the web site users’ performance. In one study, people using a computer
system made significantly more errors when there were delays of more than 12
seconds in the system’s response to their actions. These results have been interpreted
to mean that long delays may strain users’ working memory and therefore impairs
their ability to complete tasks. Page downloading speed is determined primarily
by the size of the page and the connection speed at which it is being downloaded.
Consequently it is important to keep in mind the overall size of a the page
– that is the size of the html file and all the assets (e.g. images, CSS files,
JavaScript file), is kept low, preferably to under 30k.

Usage figures for browsers, operating systems and connection speeds are fairly
ephemeral, with what is correct today undoubtedly will be out of date in the
near future. A good web designer will therefore always be aware and take advantage
of new technology, but won’t forget the large number of users who don’t have
the latest hardware and software.

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