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Web Design for Programmers, Part 3: Graphics

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What about the actual graphics that will appear on your site? The overall user experience is affected by several factors, including the colors, dimensions, file size (the perceived speed of your site), and whether or not you use animation. This third article in the series on Web design for programmers gives you a few simple techniques for making your graphics more compelling and less annoying.
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Now that you have learned about layout issues and the use of color, what about the actual graphics that will appear on your site? The overall user experience is affected by several factors, including the colors, dimensions, file size (the perceived speed of your site), and whether or not you use animation.

Dimensions

The dimensions of the graphics you use can have a lot of impact on the overall effectiveness of your Web sites. For example, in the Web page shown in Figure 1, the graphics dominate the page and distract so much attention from the text that it's actually difficult to read.

Figure 1-Bold & Loud dot com will have trouble getting its message across.

Now consider the smaller graphics shown in Figure 2. The graphics are smaller, but they are actually more effective. They don't compete with the text, but they are easy to find and easy to read when necessary.

Figure 2-The smaller graphics on this site are actually more effective.

Larger and more contrasting graphics can be perceived more aggressively than smaller graphics with a smaller range of color and value. Consider whether your audience will appreciate feeling bombarded.

Before we get into the specifics of creating graphic images, let's take a moment to consider the major graphics file formats.

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