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Web design is the design of web pages, websites and web applications using HTML, CSS, Flash, and images. Web design is part of starting a website (web development) which can include web server configuration, writing web applications and server security. History Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web published a website in August 1991, making him also the first web designer. His first was to use hypertext with an existing email link. Early on, websites were written in basic HTML, a markup language giving websites basic structure (headings and paragraphs), and the ability to link using hypertext. This was new and different to existing forms of communication – users could easily open other pages. As the Web and web design progressed, the markup language used to make it, known as Hypertext Mark-up Language or HTML, became more complex and flexible. Things like tables, which could be used to display tabular information, were soon subverted for use as invisible layout devices. With the advent of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), table based layout is increasingly regarded as outdated. Database integration technologies such as server-side scripting (see CGI, PHP, ASP.NET, ASP, JSP, and ColdFusion) and design standards like CSS further changed and enhanced the way the Web is made. The introduction of Macromedia Flash into an already interactivity-ready scene has further changed the face of the Web, giving new power to designers and media creators, and offering new interactivity features to users. Flash is much more restrictive than the open HTML format, though, requiring a proprietary plugin to be seen, and it does not integrate with most web browser UI features like the "Back" button. Issues As in all professions, there are arguments on different ways of doing things. These are a few of the ongoing ones. Liquid versus fixed layouts Programmers were the original web page designers in the early 1990s. Currently most web designers come from a graphic artist background in print, where the artist has absolute control over the size and dimensions of all aspects of the design. On the web however, the Web designer has no control over several factors, including the size of the browser window and the size and characteristics of available fonts. Many designers compensate for this by wrapping their entire webpage in a fixed width box, essentially limiting it to an exact pixel-perfect value, which is a fixed layout. Some create the illusion of liquidity by building the graphics for their webpage at a size larger than any current standard monitor size. Other designers say that this is bad because it ignores the preferences of the user, who might have their browser sized a specific way that they like best. These people propose a liquid layout, where the size of the Web page adjusts itself based on the size of the browser window. There is a usability reason (rather than wanting control) for why a designer may choose a more fixed layout. Studies have shown that there is usually an optimal line width in terms of readability. One rule to appear from such studies is that lines should be between 40-60 characters long, or approximately 11 words per line. But users may choose their windows size and font selection to optimize other factors more important to them. This decision of which style of layout to use is often made on a case by case basis, depending on the needs and audience of the website. In some cases, it is difficult to create fixed layouts which work well given the amount of content needed, and the fact that one has to try to cater for the needs of all prospective users. Flash Macromedia Flash is a proprietary, robust graphics animation/application development program used to create and deliver dynamic content, media (such as sound and video), and interactive applications over the web via the browser. It is not a standard produced by a vendor-neutral standards organization like most of the core protocols and formats on the Internet. Many graphic artists use Flash because it gives them exact control over every part of the design, and anything can be animated and generally "jazzed up." Some application designers enjoy flash because it lets them create applications that don’t have to be refreshed or go to a new web page every time an action occurs. There are many sites which forego HTML entirely for Flash. Flash detractors claim that Flash websites tend to be poorly designed, and often use confusing and non-standard user-interfaces. Up until recently, search engines have been unable to index Flash objects, which has prevented sites from having their contents easily found. It is possible to specify alternate content to be displayed for browsers that do not support Flash. Using alternate content also helps search engines to understand the page, and can result in much better visibility for the page. The most recent incarnation of Flash’s scripting language (called "actionscript", which is an ECMA language similar to JavaScript) incorporates long-awaited usability features, such as respecting the browser’s font size and allowing blind users to use screen readers. Actionscript 2.0 is an Object-Oriented language, allowing the use of CSS, XML, and the design of class-based web applications. The final consensus is that Flash is simply a tool, and like all tools it takes a skillful craftsperson to know when, and how, to use it properly. Macromedia’s other two products, Fireworks and Dreamweaver, makes Flash integration with graphics and HTML a lot easier. CSS versus tables Back when Netscape Navigator 4 dominated the browser market, the popular (but now deprecated) solution available for designers to lay out a Web page was by using tables. Often even simple designs for a page would require dozens of tables nested in each other. Many web templates in Dreamweaver and other WYSIWYG editors still use this technique today. Navigator 4 didn’t support CSS to a useful degree, so it simply wasn’t used. After the browser wars were over, and Internet Explorer dominated the market, designers started turning towards CSS as an alternate, better means of laying out their pages. CSS proponents say that tables should only be used for tabular data, not for layout. Using CSS instead of tables also returns HTML to a semantic markup, which helps bots and search engines understand what’s going on in a web page. Today, all modern Web browsers now support CSS with different degrees of limitations. However, one of the main points against CSS is that by relying on it exclusively, control is essentially relinquished as each browser has its own quirks which result in a slightly different page display. This is especially a problem as not every browser supports the same subset of CSS rules. For designers who are used to table-based layouts, developing Web sites in CSS often becomes a matter of replicating what can be done with tables, leading some to find CSS design rather cumbersome. For example, it is rather difficult to produce certain design elements, such as vertical positioning, and full-length footers in a design using absolute positions. These days most modern browsers have solved most of these quirks in CSS rendering and this has made many different CSS layouts possible. However, people continue to use old browsers, and designers need to keep this in mind. Most notable among these old browsers are Internet Explorer 5 and 5.5 which, according to some web designers, are becoming the new Netscape Navigator 4 a block that holds the internet back from converting to CSS design. How it Looks vs. How it Works Since so many web developers have a graphic arts background, they often pay more attention to how a page looks, without considering how visitors are going to find the page. On the other side of the issue, search engine optimization consultants (SEOs) obsess about how well a web site works: how much traffic it generates, and how many sales it makes. As a result, the designers and SEOs often end up in disputes where the designer wants more ‘pretty’ graphics, and the SEO wants lots of ‘ugly’ keyword-rich text, bullet lists, and text links. Another problem when using lots of graphics on a page is that download times can be greatly lengthened, often irritating the user. 相关的主题文章: