Designing pages using layers and CSS - the best way?

  • Uzzo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Do you think so. Ive heard that all the major browsers nowadays display layers pretty similarly and gone are the days when you designed for Internet Explorer and the layers looked totally misplaced in Netscape - Am I right on this one?

Also, Ive read that layers are a bad idea for accessibility on the web, and therefore tables are better because screen readers dont like reading layers. CSS is the main buzzword these days, would this in combination with layers be the best way to design web pages?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • LazyJim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

er

write the HTML for accessibility using standard html only.

then add CSS to lay it out in anyway you want - including layers.
  • LazyJim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You usually need extra <div> tags in the HTML though, wich is a shame, but surely it is much better than tables!
  • Dragon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

According to what I know...
CSS is a super simple 'tool' and a very simple to use one. It could do all kind of things to your pages as setup a set of rules for your template/page to follow, and It would actually make your page load faster. once the browser reads the CSS file things will come up a lot faster.

I personally use TopStyle3. But Dreamweaver has a built in css creator...

Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 will actually create the CSS code within your page as you are laying it out, so you wont have to worry about all the coding (wich by the way is really simple and useful)

This is what Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 would include on your code as you do your page.

Code: [ Select ]
<style type="text/css">
<!--
.style9 {
    font-size: 12px;
    color: #666666;
}
.style15 {
    font-family: Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 13px;
}
.style16 {
    font-size: 17px;
    font-weight: bold;
}
.style18 {
    color: #000000;
    font-size: 18px;
    font-family: Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
}
.style20 {
    font-size: 10px;
    font-weight: bold;
}
.style23 {font-size: 17px; color: #666666; }
-->
</style>
  1. <style type="text/css">
  2. <!--
  3. .style9 {
  4.     font-size: 12px;
  5.     color: #666666;
  6. }
  7. .style15 {
  8.     font-family: Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
  9.     font-size: 13px;
  10. }
  11. .style16 {
  12.     font-size: 17px;
  13.     font-weight: bold;
  14. }
  15. .style18 {
  16.     color: #000000;
  17.     font-size: 18px;
  18.     font-family: Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
  19. }
  20. .style20 {
  21.     font-size: 10px;
  22.     font-weight: bold;
  23. }
  24. .style23 {font-size: 17px; color: #666666; }
  25. -->
  26. </style>


If I'm wrong in something I said please corret me...I started using CSS not too long ago.
  • LazyJim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

well that code that is produced by Dreamweaver mx 2004, and probably most other wysiwyg editors, is not as efficient, effective, or resilient as hand-coded CSS.

The CSS you suplied as created by DW requires many class="" attributes in HTML elements, it does not make use of the cascade part of Cascading Style Sheets.
  • Dragon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree with ya.
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've got just a minor terminology problem.

Web "design" should be done in Photoshop. Web "development" gets done in HTML/CSS/Javascript.

I very much advocate that a site be laid out in a mock-up first, then taken apart pixel by pixel and re-created in HTML/CSS. It is hugely problematic to begin a website with an HTML editor.

My two cents, for what it's worth.
  • allgoodpeople
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Post 3+ Months Ago

digitalMedia wrote:
I've got just a minor terminology problem.

Web "design" should be done in Photoshop. Web "development" gets done in HTML/CSS/Javascript.

I very much advocate that a site be laid out in a mock-up first, then taken apart pixel by pixel and re-created in HTML/CSS. It is hugely problematic to begin a website with an HTML editor.

My two cents, for what it's worth.


could you elaborate some more on this, dm? i've not heard this idea before and i'm not quite sure what you mean.

mark
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Post 3+ Months Ago

For a team production effort, in my world anyway, the main divisions are:

Designers: Create the aesthetic presentation of information and function. First in a mock up image. Then later in smaller details and refinement.

Developers: Responsible for creating/developing the client side technology. They should take the Designers mock ups and chop them into the essential bits. They should provide the HTML/XHMTL/CSS/Javascript and all.

Programmers: These people handle all the server side stuff including working with databases and security.

When a project kicks off, there should be adequate documentation of the scope and goals of the product. There should also be a manifest of functionality. The designers should take this documentation and begin mock up development while the programmers are developing their system architecture. When there is general agreement between the original documentation, the programmers and the designers, production work can begin in earnest. This will include all 3 divisions.

IMO.
  • allgoodpeople
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Post 3+ Months Ago

so how would this apply to a hobby site or personal site? Would this perhaps be the same as an individual planning the site out first, creating the site second (vs just jumping in and starting to make things and seeing how stuff turns out as they're doing it?)

I guess I'm just very interested in the process people use to create web pages.

mark
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I, personally, would apply the same technique despite the fact that its a one man show.

When I do this type of work, I find that planning is everything. In my experiences, when hopping around is allowed, things tend to get messy - quick.
  • LazyJim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

dM doesn't it start with analysing the brief etc to come up with a design spec?

I've always thought of design being EVERYTHING that happens before production - but that might just be me!
  • LazyJim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've always had a big problem with the word 'design' - most people know the 'drawing' definition but when you start using it as a verb, they assume you meen 'doing the drawing' when really it means 'planning the solution to a given problem'.

Most of the people I tell I'm doing 'Web Design" they say something like "oh my son's doing a course in Graphic Design" or something like that.

At the job centre I said I'd like a job in web design, they instantly typed "Graphic Design" into the computer!

The message here, is that generally people think that desingers just make products look nice. It been hard in my experience to explain that aesthetics is only a small part of design!
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I personally consider a designer, in the context of web production, to mean the grahpic designer. There are certainly 'design' aspects to other disciplines involved in web productions.

Because the industry is quite new, the terms and titles used are still a bit flexible.
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

LazyJim wrote:
I've always thought of design being EVERYTHING that happens before production - but that might just be me!


For me, and the groups I've worked with, everything that happens before production is loosely called 'discovery'.

Design happens on many levels within the overall project container.
;)
  • LazyJim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I supose it's such a useful term it get's used for anything and everything now.

But what's most important to me is the customer's preconceptions of what it means and what they think I as a "web designer" actually do.

I'd like to educate them on my definition of design, but most won't be interested.

In this industry, there's a lot of sites produced - and supposedly designed - by 'kid next door', or the need for a web site is met with the phrase "my brother's friend's nephew does computers in school, he can make a web site!" There's nothing wrong with that, until said kid realises he could do the same slap-dash job for other people and charge professional rates (or more).
( note: i'm not saying they all do a crap job or aren't pro's so don't get your knickers in a twist) .

Now how do customers know if they have received, or are requesting, the services of a professional or a 'kid next door'?

As far as I know, if they don't take the hints from the evidence, or are blinded by the flashy templates the kid next door downloaded to make his web sites, then the customers won't know untill their site turns out to be a flop. Even then they might blame other factors for the flop.

If you were a small business, (potential client of mine), how could you tell the difference between me and the proverbial 'kid next door'? And would you care?
  • LazyJim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

and back on topic, I have not seen any indication of what screen readers do actually read. I havn't looked very hard for the facts, nor have I tried a screen reader, or mobile device, to access a web page.

I have heard that many screen readers are actually not troubled by the odd layout table here and there. I still don't use <table> layouts, (I like my HTML to have semantic meaning as much as possible), but I would like to know more about these accesss devices, for example, do they all do as the W3C recommends? (Now I have to check up on what the W3C recommends too! :lol: )
  • b_heyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Truthfully if it has a black background...that throws it all away.

But I am that "kid next door" designer you talk about. Except I actualy EARN my work and make it look good. I do custom templates and don't "just download" them.

I guess one way to tell would be comparison to other similar topic sites. If it has the same general layout, template, and color scheme as another page, that's a dead give away.

Personally I wouldn't judge the "kid next door" by the cover...or something like that. I'd imagine countless "professional" webdesigners do a worse job then I. Not to sound arrogant of course, but, for instance, one said "professional" used to frequent here and he pirated much of his work. His website could easily be confused as a die hard veteran of web design, but his portfolio spoke otherwise.
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

LazyJim wrote:
But what's most important to me is the customer's preconceptions of what it means and what they think I as a "web designer" actually do.


I've gave up on the customers MISconceptions years ago. I'm usually working with corporate people, or government people all of whom suffer from the same desire to stand out as a leader without actually exerting themseleves. "What I do" is done to please me. If I did it better than the last time, I'm pleased.

LazyJim wrote:
I'd like to educate them on my definition of design, but most won't be interested.


Why? I don't want to teach them jack about my job, and I don't want to learn squat about theirs. I think it works better that way.
:)

LazyJim wrote:
In this industry, there's a lot of sites produced - and supposedly designed - by 'kid next door', or the need for a web site is met with the phrase "my brother's friend's nephew does computers in school, he can make a web site!" There's nothing wrong with that, until said kid realises he could do the same slap-dash job for other people and charge professional rates (or more).
( note: i'm not saying they all do a crap job or aren't pro's so don't get your knickers in a twist) .


In principle, I could not agree more.

LazyJim wrote:
If you were a small business, (potential client of mine), how could you tell the difference between me and the proverbial 'kid next door'? And would you care?


No. As a small business, I wouldn't care. I would want the biggest bang for my buck. It would have to be proven to me, unequivocally, that the more expensive website was a better deal than the kid-next-door's. Otherwise the price tag will be the only thing seen.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

b_heyer - I've no doubt your better than a lot of 'professional' designers, this is because you are spending a lot of time and dedicating time to learning how to be better, so good for you!

dM -
Quote:
No. As a small business, I wouldn't care. I would want the biggest bang for my buck. It would have to be proven to me, unequivocally, that the more expensive website was a better deal than the kid-next-door's. Otherwise the price tag will be the only thing seen.


That's why I want to educate them on my idea of the word 'design' - I want to differentiate myself from what I call 'cowboy designers'
So they can see when someone like me is charging a professional fee for a professional service, and see when a 'cowboy designer' or 'kid next door' is charging a professional fee for an amateur (or worse) service full of gaps.

(Another note: I'm only starting out so I probably should class myself as amateur too, but I've spent so many years in education on design (not graphics at all) and computing that I recognise a 'design service' with gaps when I see one! And compared to those with no such education, I'm a damn lot more professional!)

I also get pissed of with they way people view the term 'fashion designers'. Their job is to draw clothes that look good on people, but the are celebrated as "world's best designers" and all that!
(see http://www.alistapart.com/articles/bathingape/ for someone who agrees)

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