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Know Your Audience

When designing a Web site, it is important to consider the audience of that site. Who will be visiting? What will they expect to see? What is the overall theme of the site? What mood do you want to evoke?

If the site is for a gaming company, feel free to use a dark background, and feature characters and themes from the games. If the site is for a database of textual information (for example, a news site or an online magazine), emphasize readability and ease of navigation: Make sure the text is easy to find, easy to read, and easy to print.

If the audience is very young, say 13–18 years old, make the site "loud": Use lots of bright contrasting colors and animation; use sound and flash movies! On the other hand, if the audience is over 30, try to avoid animation and loud contrasting colors. The older audience has a longer attention span and a lower tolerance for noise (aural or visual).

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