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Web Application Design Patterns by Pawan Vora

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Chapter 12. Visual Design

Introduction

Although web applications are designed to facilitate task completion, visual design of them shouldn't be ignored. Not only can visual design play an important role in how usable an application is perceived (Kurosu and Kashimura, 1995; Tractinsky, 1997), but it also affects how credible it is considered by users (Fogg et al., 2002).
Among the first decisions that web application designers make is whether application content should adjust to the browser window width (LIQUID-WIDTH LAYOUT) or remain the same regardless of its width (FIXED-WIDTH LAYOUT). Although usability and accessibility generally favor liquid-width layouts, page aesthetics are often compromised with excessively large or small browser window ...

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