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The Web is Not Print

Many Web design artists come to the Web already having a print experience. They were either print designers, or they are simply used to the manage that a print world gives. At the time print something, it turns out to be permanent and stable. That does not happen with Web.
The problem is, that it's really easy to forget. While you create your Web page and test it in your browser, you produce it looking just how you like it to look. However, then you have a trial in another browser, and it appears to be different. And when you move to another OS, it will appear differently once more.
As you're a designer, you have to work with users. You will be doing them and yourself a disservice if you don't understand the difference between print and the Web. 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
  • Printouts as a Portfolio It is always important to have a portfolio, but remember that the Web is different from print, and including a printed page is not a strong representation of your Web site design talents.
  • Setting Expectations Be up-front with your customers. If they like their page to have very specific layout, font, and other elements, make sure you explain the faults of it such as download speed and editing before simply making them a completely graphical site.
  • Find out what the client uses If happen to be a large Opera or Mac fan, and your customer only works with IE for Windows, you need to keep this in mind in your project. Your page could appear very different to them.
Design Techniques
  • Study your users Get familiar with the characteristics of the users of the page you're building. If they are geeks, they probably run Unix on a 21 inch screen. Or if they are more conservative they might have a 12 inch monitor working with Internet Explorer 3. If you design a page that works for your audience, your clients won't be complaining afterwards.
  • Don't forget to test try your ideas in all the browser and OS combination that you manage to get your hands on. Emulators are fine if you have no other options, but you can't find a replacement for a life experience.
  • Remember about resolution Software and platforms are important, but if the readers and customers are browsing on a smaller monitor than you design on, they will be unpleasantly surprised

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