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The basics of web layouts


When you create a Web design, one of the many forgotten aspects of the design is the layout. Now, a lot of people think about how to do a layout (CSS, tables, frames, etc.), but the principles of Web layout are often completely ignored.

Space and Whitespace
Use all the space you have, but don't be specific with it. That is to say, use scaleable layout parts on your Web pages, so that they can be resized to fit the browser size.
Keep screen resolution in mind. As the majority of people have switched from 640x480 sized monitors, 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 spaces. If you need a page of a specific dimensions, you should center it on the browser screen and apply a different background color to the rest of the page. This will make the page seam to resize for different browsers; bigger browsers will simply contain more background color, and smaller browsers will contain less or none of it.

The image side
Organize your images. One of the most common layout mistake ever is to put images 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 align attribute will help incorporate graphics 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 graphics are a vital part of the design, not just afterthoughts.

Text Width
Think carefully about text width. This is usually called the "scan length", and means to how many words are displayed on one line. Most people can easily read about 7 or 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 make sure that the main text is displayed in a comfortably readable width.
Centering paragraphs 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 hard to do well and it's often hard to read.



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