Creating Effective Web Pages

Creating an Effective Layout


Layout can be defined and the consistent look for the web site. It should allow readers to predict the location of information, as far as links, headings and other unique content provided in the site.

For instance the links on the left in this web site were part of the layout. They are in the same place throughout the web site and easy to find. The links don't change location around the page because this is the navigation layout.

There are three things to plan during the layout phase; structure, web pages and the navigation.

Plan the Structure - The outline that defines the major navigational links and shows the relation to other pages. There are three types of structure:

  • Linear Structure - Shows a specific order for the pages. This type usually has "back" and "next" buttons to allow the person to proceed through the step on each page. This is good for web based instruction and small web sites.
  • Random Structure - Shows no specified order for the pages. This type is good when the content on each page is independent of the others on small web sites.
  • Hierarchical Structure - Organizes the pages into categories and sub categories. This type is used on all large web sites.

Plan the Web Pages - This is the time to plan the basic look for your pages. Figure out the location for the content you planned on each page. Plan the color(s) that will be used for the background, text, buttons and banners. Choose the location for the navigation links and see how it fits with the content.

Plan the Navigation - The navigation follows the structure choice made previously. The navigation should allow the user to move through the major paths of the structure. decide whether the links will be buttons or text links. Choose a link color that supports the web site and the make them stand out from the content.


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Last updated 3/4/04