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Learning Web Design, 3rd Edition by Jennifer Niederst Robbins

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CHAPTER 3 THE NATURE OF WEB DESIGN

IN THIS CHAPTER

How variables on the user’s end affect the way your page looks and performs, including:

Browser version

Alternative browsing devices

User preferences

Platform

Connection speed

Browser window size and monitor resolution

Monitor color

As a web designer, you spend a lot of time creating pages and tweaking them until they look good in your browser. Before you grow too attached to the way your page looks on your screen, you should know that it is likely to look different to other people. That’s just the nature of web design—you can’t guarantee that everyone will see your page the way you do. The way your site looks and performs is at the mercy of a number of variables such as browser version, platform, monitor size, and the preferences or special needs of each individual user. Your page may also be viewed on a mobile device like a cell phone, or using an assistive device like a screen magnifier or a screen reader.

This unpredictable nature of the Web is particularly challenging if you have experience designing for print, where what you design stays put. As a print designer who made the transition to web design, I found I needed to let go of controlling things such as page size, typography, and precise color. Having a solid understanding of the web environment allows you to anticipate and plan for these shifting variables. Eventually, you’ll develop a feel for it.

This chapter looks at the ways in which browsers, user configurations, ...

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