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Chapter 15. Interface Design > Consistent Design Principles

Consistent Design Principles

This chapter isn't about “design,” in the aesthetic sense, but there are some basic standards that are smart to follow to make it easy for all those people who are viewing your site on a variety of computer monitors. To get an idea of what I'm talking about, the next time you're browsing the Web, be sure to visit a few major corporate sites (like www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com) to see if you find any consistency between them. For instance, if you visit a bunch of major automobile manufacturers'sites, you might notice that they don't use the full width of your screen (Figure 15.1). On the day I wrote this chapter, the majority of people browsing the Web (52.6%) were using a monitor that displays 800x600 pixels. If you look at Figure 15.1, you'll notice that all the car sites I checked out limited the width of their sites to what is visible on an 800-pixel-wide screen. A few of the sites were even smart enough to leave space for the scroll bar that would usually appear on the right edge of the screen.

Figure 15.1. Major automobile manufacturer's Web sites. The red area indicates the area not visible on a 800x600 screen.



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