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Web site development - Good Practices

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by evilpixie, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. No, you don't have to use tables for Unit 2.
  2. Although it mentions it in the mark criteria tables for layout are not required, in the examiners notes it also says

    For Merit, candidates need to use styles for text, rather than formatting each

    block of text individually. For Distinction, these styles should be part of a css

    sheet so that they can all be changed by changing the css definitions

    There is no real reason using tables across 5 pages is easier than using a predefined CSS layout and as auti says absolute positioning is not ideal.

    Yes Jakob Nielsen is indeed the man on usability, the webcredible stuff (listed in the examiners notes) is somewhat less daunting and quotes his site as a source.[/b]
  3. And I mean, PowerPoint produces great web papges so why bother with all this?
    I know it's not very 'standards compliant' but 'standards schmandards' as Bill Gates once said.
  4. You're right, of course, mymouse. That's all the students I have to work with have to use and they earn the same marks as those that use Dreamweaver. I did offer to teach more but was told in no uncertain terms that it's irrelevant. Who am I to argue with 'experts'?
  5. *snigger*
    Tables are in the mark scheme ....
    Thanks for the feedback.
    Web+ is very easy to use (hence good for OCR!) but more importantly to schools cheap and the students (those interested) can buy it cheaply too.
  6. Why not, as long as you know how to meet the Merit and Distinction criteria of using CSS to allow a central style sheet to be updated easily with that tool. On the serif plus route, as said before I've not used it, if it actually helps fulfil the criteria with note of the issues in the examiners details (including usability and accessibility) all power to you, from what Auti has posted I'm sceptical it will. P.S. Wacky idea but once done doing the tasks with pupils, check if they can justify any of the reasons for doing it the way (or with the software) they have, for my money that's the thing they should be explaining in their evidence documents.
    Regarding price issues and access to software, If you care about this I'd suggest supporting the use of actually free (and in these cases open source) tools (Seamonkey,Komposer,NVU or even notepad++) rather than promoting cheap yet for cost software that is not generally deemed acceptable in industry.
  7. Isn't the BBC web-site constructed using a mixture of MS Publisher and Serif WebPlus v4?
    If it's good enough for them......
  8. [citation needed]
  9. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    I think this is a joke, but no it isn't. The BBC have their own jquery a thing called glow (it's OS now) which wouldn't work with WebPlus. A brief examination of some pages shows it's not WebPlus anyway.

  10. Hi there,
    This has probably been said, but there are quite a few things that make a good web developer.
    - File names (need to be descriptive, lower case and [SPACES] should be replaced with the '_' underscore character)
    - Images (should be relatively small in file size, although this is just preference due to loading times)
    - Size (stick to around 750 pixels wide, by as long as you want. This will allow users with smaller screens to view the web page)
    - Fonts (There are specific "Web safe" fonts that should be used. Generally Verdana, Arial, Lucidia, etc.)
    tags (Not necessary but really will help if someone has an issue with a specific part of the web page)

    A lot of other, more accurate and explained, tips can be found on the World Wide Web Consortium's website:

    Hope this helps, Daniel.
  11. These would be in my top 10 tips (though no implied priority in the order). Sorry, some will be a repeat from the posts of others, this is copied and pasted from my notes.

    Design on paper before you start on the computer
    http://www.amacord.com/services/storybrd.html - sitemap and storyboard
    http://graphicdesign.about.com/od/effectivewebsites/ss/wireframes.htm - wireframes
    Suggest they look at sites they admire. Here are some recommendations from a design blog:
    And site designs to avoid: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/

    Use colour carefully (and don't be afraid of white space)
    http://www.colorspire.com/ - works well at KS4
    http://designshack.co.uk/articles/inspiration/25-awesome-tools-for-choosing-a-website-color-scheme - list of colour tools, Kuler is one of my favourites

    Use a font that is easy to read (sans serif)
    http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/a-basic-look-at-typography-in-web-design/ - font theory

    Design your navigation carefully and use plain English names for buttons and links
    What will be in your menu? Where will it be on the page?

    Consider usability and accessibility (A level only)
    Steve Krug "Don't make me think!"

    Use plain English filenames without spaces
    "Use plain-language names for all of your files and directories, separating the words with ?breaking? hyphen characters. This system is easy to read and understand, and since conventional word spaces are not allowed, the hyphens ?break? the file name into individual words or number strings that can be analyzed by search engines and will contribute to the search rankings and content relevance of your pages." Taken from: http://www.webstyleguide.com/wsg3/5-site-structure/3-site-file-structure.html

    Save your files in folders
    (and if you are using Dreamweaver don't forget to set up the Site Definition to point to these folders)
    For example:

    Name your homepage
    index.html or home.html

    Resize your graphics
    Keep the page load time down by minimising the size of your graphics rather than just re-sizing them on the webpage.

    Test it!
    Get feedback on your design.
    Make sure your links and navigation work.
    Check spelling and grammar.
    Check your website works when viewed from different browsers at different resolutions. (A level)
  12. Apologies for the lack of spacing, it looked OK before I posted it!!
  13. autismuk

    autismuk New commenter

    Demonstrates something else : feature detection NOT browser detection
  14. Indeed the modern premise is "progressive enhancement" based on capability.
  15. This whole thread casts light on how little many ICT teachers know about the issue of web design versus web authoring. I'd argue that on the whole most ICT teachers haven't got a clue about "design" because they come from technical backgrounds where the focus may be more on implementation and coding.
    How many ICT teachers come from a design and art background? How many ICT teachers think of "web design" as being about HCI, aesthetics, form, function, composition, colour theory, golden sections and the rule of 3rds?
    Creating efficient markup in HTML and typing up CSS rules isn't 'web design'. The idea that technical staff (or the guy who is interested in HTML) both design and create websites is right back to the 1990s.
    The ICT teaching community needs to start recognising that web design has its home in Art and Design, whilst technical web implementation (learning xHTML and CSS) should be taught on a Computing course.
    You wouldn't have mechanics from Autofit designing a new streamlined Audi supercar, and the designers of such car wouldn't be changing a head gasket on a cold Friday afternoon in a garage.
  16. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I think you have a reasonable point where the use of Flash is concerned, and you quite accurately describe the compartmentalisation and limitations of our training, especially those of us who've been teaching ICT for quite a while. I don't come from an ICT background, but neither is my background in art/design. The internet is a fast-changing environment, and ICT teachers more than any others have had a hell of a lot to keep up with and update. I had to go on a self-funded multimedia design course for a year at night school just to try out Flash and update my web design skills, but that was a few years ago and I'm already out of date. Our SoWs change every 2-3 years to match technological changes, while teachers of other subjects happily bang out the same old stuff they were doing ten years ago - I've seen it happening. It's too easy to criticise ICT teachers for not being design-orientated, because unlike commercial web designers they don't work in teams with a significant design specialist input.

    Also, some of us have been creating and maintaining websites outside the school environment for some years - I started in 1999, and am still working on new projects. No, I'm not a 'designer', and it probably shows in what I do, which tends to be functional and straight to the point, but it works and it gets noticed, and it's that experience that I pass on to my students, as well as the details of which buttons to click in Dreamweaver. Surely basics first, frilly bits later is the general rule in teaching?
  17. I'm not sure I understand where the notion that a persons ability to "design" is likely to be compromised by an understanding of the technical requirements of a medium/field that they are designing within. This idea seems no more credible to me than the notion, that someone considered artistically "creative" would have an inability to understand the required concepts to implement their creative products.

    In my experience, people who throw this idea around have a limited appreciation of the difference of both the graphic and technical design requirements for web design as compares to traditional print media.

    If you are in the camp of being a solid print media designer who feels that "web designers" are just getting it wrong, I strongly urge you to watch this video by Jason Santa Maria A respected designer for the web.
  18. Spinnach,
    No offence, seasons greetings and all that and I must admit that this contribution made me laugh out loud.
    But, you are such a risible, pompous, tedious bore, old chap.
    Get a girlfriend, develop a drink problem.
    Do anything that will stop your relentless pursuit of the 'way of the dullard'.
    You owe it to yourself.
  19. ROFLOL!! [​IMG] Planetx / mymouse / djphillips / mcdiploma (oops that's me) / etc - you do make me laugh sometimes. Been at the sherry this lunchtime?
  20. Merry Christmas to you too, by the way I haven't heard the word spinach used like that by anyone older than year 8 before.

    In the wise words of Obe Wan Kenobi (adapted for context) whose duller, the dullard or the dullard who responds to him?

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