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The basics of web layouts

When you create a Web design, one of the most overlooked aspects of the design is the layout. Now, many people are figuring out how to do a layout (which techniques to use), but the basics of Web layout are commonly completely forgotten.

The use of space
Use the whole space, but don't be specific in your use. In other words, use relative layout sections on your Web site, so that they expand and contract to fit the browser window.
Don't forget about the screen resolution. While the majority of computer users have moved away from 640x480 sized monitors, remember it when you're developing a layout. Having customers go away because all that is visible is a title on their monitor is poor customer service.
Use color to define spaces. If you want to have a page that's a specific width, you should center it in the browsed window and apply a different background color to the rest of the page. This will make the page appear to scale for different browsers; larger widows will just have more background color, and smaller browsers will have less or none showing.

The image side
Organize your graphics. One of the most typical newbie layout mistakes is to put graphics into a page willy-nilly without thought to layout. If you simply use an img tag and then write text to explain it, you'll get the picture and a line of text to follow at the right of it. Using the align attribute will help make your images part of the layout.
Balance the images and paragraphs on a page. It's really easy to captived with all those images and animations, but they can make a page very hard to read. When you're developing your layout, remember that images are a vital part of the design, not just afterthoughts.

Text Width
Think carefully about text width. This is often called the "scan length", and refers to how many words are displayed on one line. In general users can effortlessly read about 7 to 11 words in one line. Longer lines make your text hard to read, shorter than that and it's uneven and annoying. When creating your layouts make sure that the main text area displays the text in a 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 sites. However, centering is very difficult to do well and it's often unreadable.

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