Choosing a Web Page Layout in CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Layout for the web in Adobe Creative Suite 5 is quite different from layout for print. However, many of the same issues arise in both print and web layout, such as keeping text legible and flowing across the page (or screen) in an intelligent way. In web layouts, navigation and usability present a few issues you should consider when planning a web page:

  • Usability: A usable website is accessible to most, if not all, of your visitors. Visitors must be able to access your content easily because the text is legible, the file formats work on their computers, and they can find content on your site.

    Also, visitors who have physical challenges, such as sight or reading problems, can use software on their computers so that the site is read or described aloud to them.

  • Size: File size should always be kept to a minimum, which may mean changing the size of your layout. If many parts of your design require large images, you may need to change the design completely to reduce file size. Also, you need to design the page with monitors in mind.

    If a visitor’s monitor is set to a resolution of 800 x 600, your site scrolls horizontally if it’s designed any larger than 780 pixels wide. Most web surfers dislike this horizontal scrolling effect, so you must consider the dimensions of visitors’ displays when designing sites.

  • Navigation: Users have to navigate between pages on your site. To help them do so, you need to create links to those pages by using buttons, text links, menus, and other screen elements. Making navigational controls easy to find and use takes some forethought and planning. Be sure that navigation is a big part of the plan when designing the layout of your website.

You have to think not only about usability and navigation but also the different kinds of computers accessing the page and how people from all over the world may try to access your page.

If you need your page to be universal, you may need to translate it into different languages and use different character sets. (This statement applies to print also, if you’re designing a page that requires a special character set other than the ones you regularly use.)

Because you may be using multimedia (such as images and animation) alongside text, you’re constrained to the dimensions and color limitations of a computer monitor and have to think about both file size and scrolling.