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Planning Your Site

Designing Your Site

Creating Your Site

Putting Your Site Online

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How to Write for the Web

Designing: Design Page Elements

An important part of the overall look and feel of your Web site is the appearance and placement of specific elements on your pages. Some of the most common elements that are displayed on Web pages are described below.

  • Headings display titles and subtitles on a page and are typically fairly brief. Sans-serif fonts (such as Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana) are often used to display headings. Using Cascading Style Sheets, you can control the font face, font style, font effects, alignment, size, and color of your headings. You can also control the appearance of headings using individual style definitions within an HTML tag.

  • Body Text is used to display ordinary text, such as the text found in paragraphs. Typically, serif fonts (such as Schoolbook, New York, or Times New Roman) are used to display body text. You can control the appearance of paragraph text using a Cascading Style Sheet or individual style definitions within the paragraph tag.

  • Links Page: Learn more about Web design on the Web Style and Design Guidelines links page.

    Links Page: Learn more about Web graphics on the Web Graphics links page.
  • Images and other Multimedia Elements are commonly found on Web sites and include icons, buttons, images, animations, audio files, and video files. The appearance and behavior of these items can often be controlled by the HTML tags used to display them. For instance, images can have borders, descriptive titles (informational flags), and various horizontal and vertical alignments.

  • Page Backgrounds can range from a simple white background to a repeating (tiled) image to a single image that acts as a watermark. Your design decisions should take into account the impact of a background color or image on text legibility and the emotional tones that the color or image conveys. You can control the background of pages using a Cascading Style Sheet or the the background attribute within the <BODY> tag.

  • Links to other Web sites, to other parts of a document, and to other Internet resources should be clearly distinguishable from other text on the page. You can control the appearance of links on your pages using Cascading Style Sheets, individual style specifications within a tag, and link attributes within the <BODY> tag.

  • Navigation Aids should be displayed on your pages in a consistent manner. Avoid changing the background color or shifting the location, for instance, of a navigation menu. Consistently displaying navigation aids will make it easier for your readers to locate these tools.

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