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Bad Web Design: Graphics Problems

I know you like to put graphics on your page. There is little better than asite which has been done by a ... graphics ... The ... between ... color, fonts, photos and l

I know you like to put graphics on your page. There is little better than a
site which has been done by a professional graphics designer. The perfect
balance between graphics, color, fonts, photos and layout is rare and a
wonder to behold.

On the other hand, a site with bad graphics or some obvious blunders can be
agonizing and even painful to look at. Here are some of the more common

Large Graphics

Large graphics have their place on the web. Some sites give away massive
numbers of wallpaper images, which by definition are very large. In fact, I
know of a site which offers over a thousand Tomb Raider wallpapers that is
very good.

What you want to avoid is using large graphics on your main pages. Instead,
you can use a technique such as showing thumbnail images or links to the
larger graphics. Thus, those people who want the large graphics can get
them, while those who do not are not forced to wait for them to load. The
Tomb Raider site solved this problem by including 100 very small (32 x 32
pixel) thumbnails on a page. Clicking on an image displays the larger wall

Improperly Optimized Graphics

All of the common graphics formats (GIF, PNG and JPG) allow for compression
of various kinds. One common error is to not take advantage of this
compression. For example, you can cut down the number of colors in a GIF
image, which makes it smaller. Or you can increase the loss percentage in a
JPGFree Web Content, substantially reducing it's size.

Why do you want to do this? Simply so that your visitors do not have to wait
for a long time while your graphics load.


Check the section called "Animation Mistakes" for many common errors with
animated graphics. Suffice to say that less is generally better.

Graphics which Require Plug-Ins

There are some graphics formats which require exotic and obscure plug-ins in
order to be seen. While there are advantages to using plug-ins (Adobe
Acrobat comes to mind as an excellent plug-in to use) they should be avoided
when possible. Most of your visitors will not take the time to install a
plug-in just to see your web site.

Garish backgrounds

Keep your background graphics simple and neat. You want to make sure the
graphics are subtle and contract greatly with your text. In other words do
not use a light pink background with light red characters. Very hard to
read. Also avoid neon or other bright backgrounds - these tend to so
overpower your web site that people leave almost immediately.

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Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets. This
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