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The Difference Between Web and Print


Many Web designers come to the Web already having a print background. They were either print designers, or they are just used to the control that a print world gives. At the time print something, it provides permanence and stability. Things are different on the Web.
The thing is, that it's really easy to overlook. When you create your Web page and have a trial run in your browser, you get it looking just the way you like it to look. But then you have a trial in another browser, and it looks different. And when you switch to another OS, it will look differently once more.
Being a designer, you have to consider customers. You will be doing them and yourself a disservice if you don't explain the how print and Web are different. Especially if you bring your portfolio as print outs. This is a common problem, where the customer expects the printout to represent exactly what the page will look like.
Things To Do
Working with Customers
  • Printed Pages for your Portfolio It is very important to create a portfolio, however, remember that the Web is different from print, and bringing a printed page is not a strong representation of your Web site development talents.
  • Defining Expectations Be honest with your customers. If they require their page to have one specific layout, font, and images, be sure to explain the faults of it such as download speed and maintenance before simply making them a completely graphical page.
  • Find out what your customer uses If you're a large Firefox or Mac addict, and your client only uses Internet Explorer for Windows, you need to keep this in mind in your designs. Your page could look dramatically different to them.
Design Tips
  • Know your audience Know the characteristics of the users of the site you're creating. If they are propeller-heads, they might browse in Unix on a 21 inch monitor. Or if they happen to be more old-fashioned they might own a 12 inch monitor working with Internet Explorer 3. If you design a site that works for your audience, your customer won't come complaining to you later.
  • Test test test Test your ideas in every browser and OS combo that you manage to get your hands on. Emulators are fine if you have no other choice, but there is no substitute for a real experience.
  • Don't forget resolution Software and platforms are important, but if the users and clients are working on a smaller screen than you use, they will be unpleasantly surprised




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