Monday, May 23, 2011

Current Web Design Practices

In past web pages have almost been self content. All the content, presentation, interactivity and structure have been contained within one file. Links were made to external assets such as images but by enlarge the code for the web page contented everything the browser needed to display the content. That way of working had considerable limitation not the list of which was HTML’s poor presentational capability. As web standards, such as CSS and XHTML began to gain wider adaption.
Most designer started to design web pages that were more compound documents that is document that reference other files to achieve full functionality. It’s not in common now for example for a XHTML page to contain nothing beside the basic structure in text of the file. All presentation, interactivity, functionality and dynamic content will be contained in other external files that are linked to the XHTML files. You might have an external CSS file controlling typography in layout and external java script file handling user interactivity and special effect and in data base being access for additional content. This approach may at first sound complicated but it has several advantages that is later adapted as a standard. First it makes your contents more accessible. If everything but the structure is script away other user agents can access these content without having the also understanding your CSS or run your java script. Second it makes repurposing these contents. Now instead of having to create different versions of your site for different devices you can simply change the CSS used for your site when printing or when used on mobile devise. You can even create style sheets for screen readers to further increase accessibility. In addition to these advantages it also makes working on in updating your sites easier. Instead of having change in your font size for your main heading on every single page for example you simply change one file and your entire website updates. And in collaborate environment you could have one team working on the styles, one working on external java scripts and one working on XHTML without ever worrying about overwriting what somebody else is doing. As we work on groundswell site pay attention to this approach. Our styles, scripts, and other assets will all remain in external files.


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