Low cost web design : Part IProblems and Controversies Surrounding MyspaceAs much as the good things that myspace to persons of all ages, there are things that myspace seemedto have lack of power in controlling. Even with the tools that they have, they still have concerns on howto address them. But they are smarting up their ranks and try addressing these concerns as soon aspossible.One of the controversies that caused some problems with myspace was the case that was filed againstthe website last February 2007. The parents of the kid that was sexually assaulted met the person onlinethrough myspace. Because of that, they were charge with fraud, negligence and misrepresentation.Even though the case was dismissed the website was magnified on what are the restrictions and normsthey are doing to prevent these things. Under fire because of the accusations, the company createdeven stricter laws to protect those that are under age.There was also a report that the website was used by some as a spyware. Someone apparently found aloophole in the system of the website and used it to get vital information of the person. The bug was sopowerful that it can take the information of the person looking at a website by simply clicking on a videoto play that came from the source or even visiting the front page of the account creator. From there, itwill look for the important information about yourself and eventually it will access some offlineinformation and you’ll never know what hit you when you become a victim of identity theft.Another problem that most of the users have pointed out is that the website has virtually no customerservice. There’s no phone number that you can contact and when you e-mail them with your concerns,you can just wish they will answer your questions within 24 hours. Sometimes the answer may nevercome so you’re better off with the FAQs again. If you’re very, very lucky and you can get hold of thephone number of the myspace headquarters, you can just wish you could talk to them about it. Acorporate office won’t even bother talking to you. It’s a burden that we all have to face since thewebsite is free and there’s absolutely nothing that you have to pay for their services.Lastly of course is the piracy and copyright infringement. Even though the website is not to be blamed,the website is really easy when it comes to posting something illegal for example, placing music onlinethat can be downloaded for free. Streaming music are also the problem of some artists that they clearlyvoiced out their concerns regarding these add-ons. A simple code embedded on the site are all the usersneed to do to download and access the music.
Whatever the concern, myspace always answers these concerns and tries as much as possible to protectthe users and the artists with regards to the piracy. Especially with protecting the underage, myspace iscontinuing its efforts to prevent predators to get in touch with the vulnerable under-aged kids.Hiring a web designer to come up with the custom solution that you need can set you back a fewthousand bucks. But you can do the whole thing yourself and make it drag and drop simple for merepennies with a tool like Breezy Websites. See http://breezywebsites.com for details!Low cost web design : End of Part IPrint-this-page function - a bad idea and its solutionReading in a browser is different than from paperWriting text for online reading is different than composing an article for a printed magazine. Oneassumption is that visitors are “jumpier” than readers. Subtitles, shorter sentences and paragraphs arekey-elements in formatting online text to best effect.The visitor’s interest needs to be captured before clicking on the next link. This is comparable tonewspapers, where many pieces of information compete against each other on the same page.Online content is printed on a crispy, blank page. There simply is no competition. The same text whichwas effective on the screen might look very bland printed. The short content, tuned to convey amessage by starting every line with the perfect low cost web design, might look very lost when printedon a sheet of paper using the whole page-width.Better to have no information than one that is out of context
Web-pages are not structured sequentially – unlike a book. The whole point of a web-site is to enrich itwith links, connecting it to information that the visitor might find useful. Web-sites tend to tearinformation into chunks or create many entry-pages, leading further into the site. That makes very muchsense in regards to online reading. Also advertising profits from that, because more pages mean moreads served and better information, what the user is interested in.Word on the net is that 80% of traffic does not hit the homepage but directly jumps deep into a site. Ifthe accessed page is only a segment of the relevant information, a printout is useless or at the very leastout of context. It is not possible to really understand the quarterly numbers, when the company-strategy leading to those results is not known.Having incoherent information lying on “to be read” stacks can be very detrimental because the contextis lost even further by time passing by.Loose control over the contentContent needs to change, because contrary to a printed page, a web-site is expected to be up-to-date.The owner of the site is generally in control of the content published.A printed page represents a snapshot in time of the ever changing content. Not only does the publisherloose control, but the information is no longer accurate.Goodbye branding, goodbye imageInformation is conveyed through many channels. There is factual content –usually text - but at the sametime and equally important there is soft-content. Screen-design, key-messages or special-features forexample are key elements, which can not be accurately displayed in print.These channels merge together to convey “the image”. Most of the time, this is a carefully planned partof corporate branding and does not come cheap. The simple “print this page” button reduces theelaborate corporate communications to a “default-font” page, where the logo is displayed within a dark,
square box, the browser adds a cryptic web-address as a headline and the styled product-description isreduced to a two-liner with no hyphenation.It stops the user from browsingDesigning a page aims at one thing only – keep the visitor engaged and interested. Printing a page canbe a dangerous break in a flow the visitor is now comfortable with. A popup appears asking to select aprinter. A choice needs to be made, taking the mind away from the carefully planned information-architecture. Usually people wait very anxiously and even reach for the page coming out of the printerbefore it is finished. Then they look at it and ask themselves “where was I?” This interruption might beenough not to return to browsing.Why would I want to print a page?What are the main reasons that a visitor wants to use a “print-this-page” function.- Forward the information to someone- Store the information for later use- Read the information offlineThese are all valid needs. Printing out an individual web-page might however not be the best solution.The solution lies somewhere elseForwarding the link, maybe with some prepared text, should take care of the first action. Well formattedbookmarks using descriptive URLs and intelligently hinting at this feature on the page itself, will solvethe second requirement. Both leave the information within the framework and control of the site.
If information needs to be printed it needs to be prepared and put into context. An example: a goodprint-version of a product page should contain a description, detailed information, some essentialsabout the company and maybe a reference where to purchase the product offline.A print-version requires a format that is intended for printing and not one intended to be used within abrowser. In order to correctly use elements from the corporate identity or appealingly display text, PDFmight be the best choice available for now. From the perspective of online usability, PDF is notunchallenged. But in this case we are talking about physical, printed usability. And if it is the wish of theuser to print, it is the command to the site. But let’s get the best out of it – it is the visitors return ticket.Hiring a web designer to come up with the custom solution that you need can set you back a fewthousand bucks. But you can do the whole thing yourself and make it drag and drop simple for merepennies with a tool like Breezy Websites. See http://breezywebsites.com for details!Low cost web design : End of Part IIPrint Design vs Web Design - Part 2One of the costliest mistakes companies make when creating their web sites is hiring graphic designerswho specialise in print design. Many print designers believe that if they can learn HTML, they can easilytransfer their "vision" from the printed page to a web site, thus having a special advantage in designingfor the web.Print design specialists tend to make one profound mistake: using print layouts and print marketingstrategies to design and market a web site.The fact is that any successful web design needs far more than a print designer whos learned HTML. Itrequires a new paradigm of thinking about design itself -- what we call "Achieving the Web DesignMind." While there are many examples than can be made with this, heres a summary of how a printdesigner and a web design specialist differ in their approaches to putting together a web site.
The Print Design Mind makes the art the priority. Print designers tend to equate a sites worth with howstylistic it looks or how many special design features it has -- animations, sounds, frames, special plug-ins, etc. Print designers rely on WYSIWYG programs (like Front Page) to mimic the original print pieces tothe web as closely as possible. Little consideration is given to the hardware and software variations andlimitations of their audience. Visitors, search engines and directories are all expected conform to theprint designers personal whim. The Print Design Mind thinks, "Look how good I am."The Web Design Mind makes the content the priority. The artwork compliments the content and directsthe visitor to it, but it does not overwhelm it. Effective web site design is dedicated to getting people theinformation they want in a simple way, rather than trying to distract them with cool effects. Web sitescreated by the Web Design Mind dont rely on anything extraneous (e.g., special plug-ins) to get themessage across. Everything serves a practical purpose -- to make the visitor work as little as possible ingetting what they want. The Web Design Mind thinks, "Look what good I can do for your customers."For a print designer to achieve the Web Design Mind, they must UNLEARN many of the things printdesign has taught them about how to reach a target audience. We recommend starting off with trainingfrom a professional web designer, or at least hiring a professional web designer to create templatepages for your web site.Because when you get to the heart of it, the web is really not about art. Web site design is aboutproviding information and making money. All of the artwork on a web site should be geared towardproviding information about a product and/or service, and it should help your sites visitors find the veryinformation they are searching for as quickly and as easily as possible. The most successful web sitesmay not look all that visually stunning for an artists portfolio, but it is not a web site designers job tocreate a stunning portfolio. It is a web site designers job to create an effective web site design for yourtarget audience.Hiring a web designer to come up with the custom solution that you need can set you back a fewthousand bucks. But you can do the whole thing yourself and make it drag and drop simple for merepennies with a tool like Breezy Websites. See http://breezywebsites.com for details!Low cost web design : End of Part III