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Last updated Oct 17, 2003.
By Meryl Evans
A Web site has sharp-looking graphics that load quickly. On the day of launch, guess what breaks? The server housing the images. The site is left with nothing but text. The Web site launch doesn't go well because the creators treated the graphics as if it were the site instead of supporting the site. A site should stand alone without any help from the graphics.
Graphics have given us the opportunity to create visual aids to accommodate the presentation. Over time, people begin squeezing in more and more graphics into the presentation. Graphics provide a cue, not the presentation. Visual aids are there to support the presentation without being the presentation. They point the way for the user to find what he needs quickly and with little thought. Remember, some users surf with graphics turned off to speed up the experience or for reasons pertaining to disabilities.