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Tungsten Interactive Group - Erie, PA


Web standards

At newline Creations we know that there is an incredible amount of poorly designed and developed Web sites on the Internet. These Web sites are cluttered, over "decorated," unusable and inaccessible. The visitors to these Web sites form their perception of the company, services and products based on their user experience. Needless to say, a negative first impression or perception can have disastrous effects.

All Web sites developed by newline Creations strictly adhere to Web Standards as outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the leading body in development of common protocols that promote the evolution of World Wide Web (the Internet) and ensure its interoperability. Our development relies on the proper use of XHTML and CSS2 standards, which together with solid principles of Information Architecture produce highly flexible, manageable, usable and accessible Web sites and Web applications.

Design is a function of content

The design philosophy of newline Creations can be summarized by the statement that "Design is a function of Content." What exactly does this mean?

Every Website we develop supports the Four Essentials of Modern Web Design. It is not our invention but it makes perfect sense and provides great results. Here are the four essentials:

  1. Valid, standards compliant code
  2. Accessible code (this goes hand in hand with the previous point)
  3. Semantically correct code
  4. Separation of content and presentation

But do not take our word for it. Go ahead and read more from other experts.

Content is what drives the Internet and it is important to understand that the Web users do not "surf" the Net to admire overly graphical, flashy, cumbersome sites, where it takes real effort to figure out how to use them. It is the information presented on the Website that is of main interest of every site visitor. Content is the King that should be celebrated and the most attention should be devoted to preparing and improving the content on continuous basis.

Design is also very important, but not as important as the content. The design has to support content and therefore the design becomes dependent of the content. The design needs to make it easy to find, navigate, and read the content.

How much attention do you pay to a site's design?

Stop for a second and think objectively what amount of attention do you pay to the design of any Website you visit. I guarantee that any time you visit a new Website and the pages load for the first time, you spend about 7.5 seconds "glancing" at the site's design and immediately start looking for the familiar elements such as company logo, main navigation, sub navigation and most importantly, the main page content (this is the actual reason you came to this site after all).

In a split second you make a sub conscious decision about the professional nature of the site. Everyone can tell right away whether the Website appears to be credible and whether the site owners care about their business. The websites that make great first impression are clean, well organized, easily navigable and provide relevant, consistently formatted content.

So what does this mean for Website owners? Stop spending money on elaborate, super creative, over-the-top designs and rather pay attention to good content.

Objective Good vs. Subjective Good

Like everything else, a Website can be objectively good and subjectively good. Majority of Website design companies will try to sell you on subjective elements that fool you into thinking that if you are getting what you want you are getting the right stuff.

Here is a little elaboration on this concept.

Objectively good Website is one that excels in categories that can be objectively measured and objectively compared to any other Website on the Internet within particular categories. Here are some Website characteristics that can be objectively assessed:

  • Compliance with Web standards
  • Web accessibility
  • Quality of printed version
  • Page load time
  • Ease of navigation
  • Search Engine friendly page composition and code

Subjectively good Website is one that happens to have a design that appeals to you. Perhaps you like the colors used, the pictures or some other design elements. For example, you may think a Website is good because it has a very unique and ingenious navigation system but 80% of the visitors are confused and leave the site without finding the information they are looking for.

At newline Creations we believe that it is most important to concentrate on the Website elements that make a Website objectively good. The truth is, a company Website should not be designed for the company owners but for the company customers.

ProWebsite provided by newline Creations