Thursday, August 7, 2008

Web style vs. Paper style

Paper and Web style have some certain similaraties, and yet some very important differences. The biggest common thread between web and paper design is the KISS format. In a paper, you want to keep your ideas clear (or to see my Style paper, to keep to your point!:-) ) In a web site, you want each page to be clear, not cluttered, and specific.

In a paper, this is not quite as evident, as we are looking at only one document and we need to expand with clear transitions between ideas- a thread, as it were. This makes a paper, at first glance, more complex- or another way to think of it is more initially thoughtful. A paper usually has one purpose, where a web site often has more then one purpose, and expands in ways one could not do in a paper. Ideas need to flow between paragraphs, where as in a web site, they can be presented in chunks- additional pages in your site.

In a web format, it's possible to do links, which allow the design to expand- much more difficult to do in a paper format. The way I think of a web site is like a tree- the main page (or Index) is the trunk, and the branches are the pages. It is not as important to create transitions between subjects, as your visitor can decide to click or not to click.

A paper is like a bush, more tightly compacted, ideas need to be closer and more related.

While initally, your paper may be more difficult to construct, I believe that there is a great deal that goes into the design of a web page that one needs to pay attention to that the normal web surfer may not even notice. Ease of navigation, colors being harmonious and readable, and clear links that work. I do think of a web design like a spider web, you draw in your surfer and want them to keep on clicking to find out more. This applies more to a professional web page, as the further you have your customer come into your site, the more likely business will result...very important in todays economy!

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