Good web design requires a balance between text and graphics. How
many graphics you choose to use on your web page, if any,
depends on what your site is about.
The problem with graphics is that they slow down page
loading time. For dial-up users the loading time of a page is of primary
importance. For those with high speed connections, loading time is unimportant,
but bandwidth may be an issue.
There are a few common mistakes made when using graphics that
can be easily avoided and will make your site visitor's
experience much more enjoyable.
1. Large and Uncompressed Graphics. Large graphics have a place on the Web,
but it is not in the middle of your web page. Where a site has these
images, there should be a lower resolution thumbnail linking to
the larger image. Then only the people who want the large image
will have to wait for it to download.
Even smaller graphics can still have large file sizes if they're
not compressed properly. Consider the following:
- Reduce the number of colours in a GIF image to
make it smaller.
- JPG files can be easily compressed by increasing the loss
percentage - just check that you are retaining enough image
- Save photographs as JPG files and clip art
type graphics as GIFs.
2. What About Animated Graphics? With the popularity of Flash
movies, animation file sizes can be huge and a person with a
slow modem may never get to see your masterpiece.
Simple graphic animations can be optimized in a similar way that
static GIF's can. Reduce the number of colours, remove redundant
pixels and keep them simple!
Flash graphics are a topic on their own, but they do require the
user has a plug-in so they are able to view the file. Some people refuse to
install browser plugins, thus they may never see the flash trash.
Be sure to put important items such as navigational buttons in regular html code so
they can be viewed in all browsers.
3. Creating Backgrounds And Fonts -
If you have a favorite, but obscure font you want to use on
your web site, then you should use it in a graphic because many viewers may not
have that font on their systems and then their browser will default to their default font.
If you choose to make some words into graphics, keep them light weight. All fonts
used need to be readable, so consider the font size and effects you
will use on it.
Don't create garish font/background combinations. Dark purple
font on a navy background cannot easily be seen, and red on blue
is difficult for many to read too.