Orange County Web Design

Orange County Web Design Experts

Faced with the difficulty of determining which browser capabilities to support to better reach their target audience, web designers have developed a wide variety of web design approaches; some far too extreme than others. However, the best web design depends largely on its target audience and planned use. This article will provide an insight into the ongoing debate on the suitability of the various website design strategies, merits and demerits of each approach. Just read on…

Lowest Common Denominator (LCM) Design

This approach covers a small fraction of web designers who adhere to the ideal standard that the web should be accessible to everyone. This group holds that presentation should be in the hands of the user, not the author. This website design approach has over time stuck with the safest HTML standard and ensures that web pages work on all browsers.

Current Version Web Design

Another small fraction ranks on the other extreme end of the spectrum. They hold that website design should be tailored only for the latest versions of popular browsers with little, or no attention to site performance for users on earlier versions. When question over their lack of concern for users on old version, this group of designers argues that such users should be told to upgrade, if anything, it is free.

Current version web design also incorporates designers who only design for only the latest version of a particular browser. The approach is particularly suitable for intranet design. It has the obvious disadvantage of leaving out a huge percentage of the audience. In fact, it leaves out all potential users on older versions.

On the positive front, this approach is normally associated with high chances of forging new territories, and putting new technologies into test.

Splitting the difference

In most cases, web design tends to take a more balanced approach of the two extremes. This approach takes advantage of cutting edge technologies such as JavaScript and DHTML, but implements them in such a way that they remain fully functional on old browser versions. The trick is to code the site such that it degrades gracefully for both older and newer versions.

For instance, it is possible to develop a website that looks fine on all browsers, but still takes advantage of Cascading Style Sheets for those browsers that can use them. It does not hurt the old version users, those on the latest versions just get premium services and extra functionality. The same case applies to DHTML tricks, they are great to use, provided they are not used to hold crucial information and functionality of a website. By being mindful, you can design a website that gets a “Wow!” from those on the latest version, but does not drive those on the old versions away.

Something for everyone

Albeit this is one of the most labor-intensive and costly approach to adopt. One site could incorporate JavaScript while the other one incorporates DHTML. Another one of your website design could be a solid HTML 3.0 compliant website, with attractive images and layouts. You could also create a text only site to serve users on Lynx and other non-visual browsers. Although this looks like the best approach to get to all users at their convenience, the cost of such multiple web design activities is usually prohibitive.

But which approach should a business adopt?

Making appropriate decision about which browser your website should support depends largely on who are your target audience. Before commencing your web design activities, make sure to research on the likely browsers, technical savvy, likely platforms, and the associated connection speed for your target audience. In case you are redesigning an existing website, spend some time up front examining past site usage.

While there are no fast and hard rules on determining which the best website design approach to adopt is, the following tips will give you a general guide.

  • If you are designing an academic or scientific site, you should probably give more attention to how your site functions on Lynx and other graphic free browsers.
  • If your aim is to reach out to consumers – do not ignore your website performance in the AOL browser
  • If you are performing a web design for a controlled environment, such as a company intranet, find out exactly what browsers your viewers use. Then design with them in mind

Lastly, never forget to test your website before closing the project.

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