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The Web is Not Print

Many Web design artists come to the Web already having a print experience. Either they were 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. Things are different on the Web.
The thing is, that it's easy to forget. While you build your Web page and have a trial run in your browser, you get it looking just how you want it to look. However, then you have a trial in another browser, and it appears to be different. And if you move to another OS, it will look differently once more.
Being a designer, you'll need to consider users. You will not be doing them and yourself a favor 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.
What To Do
Working with Customers
  • Printed Pages for your Portfolio It is very helpful to create a portfolio, but remember that the Web is different from print, and bringing a printout is not a strong representation of your Web site development talents.
  • Setting Goals Be fair with your customers. If they require their page to have one certain layout, font, and other elements, be sure to explain the faults of it like download speed and maintenance before simply making them a completely graphical site.
  • Know what your customer uses If you're a large Opera or Mac fan, and your customer only works with IE for Windows, you have to keep this in mind in your project. Your page could look dramatically different to them.
Design Techniques
  • Study your users Know the details of the users of the site you're building. If they are geeks, they might browse in Unix on a 21 inch monitor. Or if they are more old-fashioned they might own a 12 inch monitor working with Internet Explorer 3. If you create a site that suits your audience, your clients won't be complaining to you later.
  • Test test test Test your ideas in every browser and OS combination that you manage to access. Emulators work if you have no other options, but you can't find a replacement for a real experience.
  • Remember about resolution Software and OS are important, but if the readers and clients are working on a smaller monitor than you design on, they will be disappointed

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