Workshop






Workshop

Put on your thinking cap again because it's time for another review. These questions, quizzes, and exercises will remind you about the items that you should (or should not) include on your pages.

Q&A

Q

I've seen statistics that say the majority of people on the Web are using Internet Explorer. Why should I continue designing and testing my pages for other browsers when most of the world is using one browser?

A

You can design your pages explicitly for Internet Explorer. Your pages are your pages, and the decision is yours. But, given how easy it is to make small modifications so your pages can be viewed and read in other browsers without losing much of the design, why lock out the remainder of your audience for the sake of a few tags? Remember, the Web is growing all the time, and that "small" minority of visitors could very well be a million people or more.

Q

I'm converting existing documents into web pages. These documents are very text-heavy and are intended to be read from start to finish instead of being scanned quickly. I can't restructure or redesign the content to better follow the guidelines you've suggestedthat's not my job. What can I do?

A

All is not lost. You can still improve the overall presentation of these documents by providing reasonable indexes to the content (summaries, tables of contents pages, subject indexes, and so on) and including standard navigation links. In other words, you can create an easily navigable framework around the documents themselves. This can go a long way toward improving content that's otherwise difficult to read online.

Q

I have a standard signature block that contains my name and email address, revision information for the page, and a couple of lines of copyright information that my company's lawyers insisted on. It's a little imposing, particularly on small pages. Sometimes the signature is bigger than the page itself! How do I integrate it into my site so that it isn't so obtrusive?

A

If your company's lawyers agree, consider putting all your contact and copyright information on a separate page and then linking to it on every page rather than duplicating it every time. This way, your pages won't be overwhelmed by the legal stuff. Also, if the signature changes, you won't have to change it on every single page. Failing that, you can always just reduce the font size for that block and perhaps change the font color to something with less contrast to the background of the page. This indicates to users that they're looking at fine print.

Quiz

1.

What are the three flavors of XHTML 1.0, and which of these three accommodates the widest range of markup?

2.

What are some ways you can organize your pages so that visitors can scan them more easily?

3.

True or false: Headings are useful when you want information to stand out because they make the text large and bold.

4.

True or false: You can reduce the download time of an image by using the width and height attributes of the <img> tag to scale down the image.

5.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of creating one big web page versus several smaller ones?

Quiz Answers

1.

The three flavors of XHTML 1.0 are Transitional (designed for the widest range of markup, including tags that are deprecated in the standard), Frameset (which includes all tags in the Transitional specification, plus those for framesets), and Strict (for those who want to stick to pure XHTML 1.0 tags and attributes).

2.

You can use headings to summarize topics, lists to organize and display information, and link menus for navigation, and you can separate long paragraphs with important information into shorter paragraphs.

3.

False. You should use headings as headings and nothing else. You can emphasize text in other ways, or use a graphic to draw attention to an important point.

4.

False. When you use the width and height attributes to make a large image appear smaller on your page, it may reduce the dimensions of the file, but it won't decrease the download time. The visitor still downloads the same image, but the browser just fits it into a smaller space.

5.

The advantages of creating one large page are that one file is easier to maintain, the links don't break, and it mirrors real-world document structure. The disadvantages are that it has a longer download time, visitors have to scroll a lot, and the structure is rigid and too linear.

Exercises

1.

Try your hand at reworking the example shown in Figure. Organize the information into a definition list or a table. Make it easy for the visitor to scan for the important points on the page.

2.

Try the same with the example shown in Figure. How can you arrange the information so that it's easier to find the important points and links on the page?



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