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The basics of web layouts


When you make a Web design, one of the most overlooked aspects of the design is the layout. Now, a lot of people are figuring out how to create a layout (CSS, tables, frames, etc.), but the basics of Web layout are often completely ignored.

Space and Whitespace
Use the whole space, but don't be too strict in your use. That means, use relative layout sections on your Web pages, so that they can be scaled to match the browser size.
Remember about the resolution. While the most people have switched from 640x480 resolution, keep that in mind when you're developing a layout. Having customers leave because all that is visible is a title on their monitor is not good customer service.
Use color to separate different blocks. If you need a page that's a specific width, you should center it in the browsed window and make the background color of the page a different color. This will make the page appear to scale for various browsers; bigger widows will simply contain more background color, and smaller browsers will contain less or none of it.

Images and Graphics
Organize your graphics. One of the most common newbie layout mistakes is to slap graphics into a side without considering your layout scheme. If you just apply an img tag and then write text to explain it, you'll have the picture and then one line of text to the right of it. Applying the alignment will help incorporate the images into layout.
Match the images and text on a page. It's easy to captived with all those images and animations, but they can turn you page into a very hard to read one. When you're developing your layout, don't forget that images are a major part of the design, not just afterthoughts.

Text Alignment
Put in some thought about text width. This is often called the "scan length", and refers to the number of words that are are placed on one line. Most users can easily read about 7 to 11 words in one line. Longer than that, and the text is hard to read, shorter than that and it's uneven and distracting. When designing your layouts be certain that the main text is displayed in a comfortably readable width.
Centering text is not recommended. One of the easiest layout techniques that a new designer gets familiar with is the center tag, and they center everything on their pages. But centering is very difficult to do good and it's often hard to read.



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