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The Difference Between Web and Print

A lot of Web designers come to the Web with a print background. Either they were print artists, or they are just used to the manage that a print world gives. When you print a project, it turns out to be permanent and stable. Things are different on the Web.
The problem is, that it's really easy to forget. When you build your Web page and have a trial run in your browser, you produce it looking exactly the way you like it to look. However, then you have a trial in another browser, and it looks different. And if you switch to a different platform, it will look differently once more.
Being a designer, you'll need to work with users. You will be doing them and yourself a disservice if you don't get 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
  • Printed Pages for your Portfolio It is always important to make a portfolio, but remember that the Web is different from print, and bringing a printout is not a good example of your Web site design talents.
  • Setting Expectations Be honest with your clients. If they require their site to have very specific layout, font, and other elements, be sure to explain the faults of it like download speed and editing prior to simply building them a completely graphical page.
  • Know what the customer uses If happen to be a big Firefox or Mac fan, and your client only works with Internet Explorer for Windows, you have to keep this in mind in your creations. Your page could look dramatically different to them.
Design Tips
  • Study your users Get familiar with the characteristics of the audience of the page you're creating. If they are geeks, they might browse in Unix on a 21 inch screen. Or if they are more conservative they might own a 12 inch monitor running Internet Explorer 3. If you design a page that suits your users, your customer won't come complaining to you later.
  • Test test test Test your designs in all the browser and OS combo that you manage to get your hands on. Emulators are fine if you have no other options, however you can't find a substitute for hands on experience.
  • Remember about resolution Software and platforms are significant, but if your readers and clients are working on a smaller screen than you design on, they will be unpleasantly surprised

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