Week 3

Creating Web Sites ch. 5& 6:

Chapter 5- “HTML Text Tags”. HTML gives you less control than a word processor (MS Word etc.). You, the creator, do not get to determine every nuance of how your web page looks because part of that is dependent on the viewer’s browser. HTML does allow one to categorize items to facilitate the meaning as part of the mark up. One can label something a heading, subheading, paragraph, list, etc. and one can give a word, or paragraph emphasis. There are two different ways to tag or mark up a web page’s content:

  • Structuring- arrange sections like headings, paragraphs, and lists.
  • Formatting- make the sections look different (color, font, etc.)

In order to do this, HTML has two types of tags:

  • Logical or idiomatic tags-describe the content (heading, list, etc.)
  • Physical or typographic tags-formatting such as italics, bold, underline, etc.

Many of HTML’s physical tags are being replaced by CSS style rules.

Chapter 6-“Style Sheets”. This is where much of the creative design fun comes into play. Style sheets are separate rules that tell the browsers how to format all the marked up text. There are three types of style sheets:

  • External-this is stored in a separate file and is linked to the HTML page. It is very powerful and allows many pages to be changed simultaneously just by changing the external style sheet.
  • Internal-this is imbedded in the HTML page. It only affects the styles of the page it is imbedded in so one must update the style on each page individually.
  • Inline-this inserts a style or formatting rule inside an HTML tag. It is not very convenient because in order to change the style one must hunt down the rule hidden amongst all the HTML tags and content.

Principles of beautiful web design ch. 1:

Chapter 1- “Layout & Composition”. This chapter discuses the overall design process and gives some guidelines for good design. The design should not hinder the access to content.

  • Users are pleased by the design but drawn to the content
  • Intuitive navigation will help users access the content easily
  • Each page should be recognized as part of the same website-keep continuous themes, colors, fonts, logos, etc.

The rule of thirds design principle aids in creating aesthetically pleasing designs. This is a simplistic breakdown of the golden ratio rule of art. The golden ratio will divide a space so one part is twice the size of the other. For some reason this seems to be a pleasing ratio. By designing a website on a grid, one can try to use this “rule of thirds”.

Review the following websites:

ICANNhttp://www.icann.org/

The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) site coordinates the database of unique internet addresses (names or numbers) worldwide. ICANN began in 1998 and is why we can have a global internet. This non-profit group consists of numerous individuals spread across the globe who maintain a secure, stable and interoperable internet. Its job is to coordinate the internet’s naming system. Among the many offerings on their site are: a glossary of internet terminology, and domain name dispute resolution policies.

Web Stats –

Internet Traffic Report:http://www.internettrafficreport.com/main.htm

Internet Traffic Report is one of several websites that offer statistics on internet usage. This particular site analyzes the world data flow and displays it as a value between zero and 100: the higher the number the faster and more reliable the connections. Each continent is given a value and a trend arrow (most being up or static). Only 5 regions are listed: Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America – with Africa being noticeably absent. North America is rated highest with 88 but is static; Asia, Europe, and South America are in the 60s and 70s but growing. Australia is rated 82 and is static. Clicking on a region will provide more detailed information about specific routers and their traffic.

Internet World Stats:http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

Internet World Stats provides usage and population statistics for internet users. The main page features world stats, but there are links to statistics for: Africa, America, Asia, Europe, EU, Middle East, and Oceania. As of today (5/28/2008 ) the most recent world statistics are from March 2008. For each region 6 items are tracked: population (2008 est.), population % of world, internet usage, % population who use internet (penetration), usage % of world, and usage growth 2000-2008. North America has the highest % of population who use internet (73.1%), but Asia with its large population has the highest usage % of world (37.6%). Africa and the Middle East have usage growth from 2000-2008 over 1000%. Interestingly, when one looks at individual countries with highest internet penetration rate, the United States ranks 4th behind Sweden, Hong Kong, and Denmark.

CAIDA Internet Infrastructure:http://www.caida.org/home/

The CAIDA site (Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis) promotes the engineering and maintenance of a strong international internet structure by providing tools and analyses. There is a fascinating visualization of IPv4 AS level topology. Honestly, I am not sure entirely what this means, but it seems to be a visualization of a two week snapshot of the internet by graphing IP addresses and links in traceroute paths. It reminds me of a spirograph drawing toy I played with as a child. There is also a chart of Geographic region of ASes as determined by NetAcuity plotted against number of ASes (Average peering degree), skitter August 2007. Again I am not sure what average peering degrees are but this is definitely a place to go for internet technical data.

CAIDA also offers quite a number of tools that fall under the categories of: measurement, taxonomy, utilities, and visualization. These all help folks plot, plan, view, and understand the various intricacies of the internet.

Pew (non-profit research center):http://pewresearch.org/

Pew Research Center is a very up to date (last updated today 5/29/2008 ) site that gives access to trends, facts and statistics that shape the world. They do political polls, statistics on religion, research and analysis of news media, social trends, international opinion polls, etc. For those working with the internet and web design, Pew’s information on internet and information technology trends are probably the most appropriate.

Nielson Net Ratings: (private research center) – http://www.nielsen-netratings.com/

Nielsen is known as a leading market researcher and this is their internet ratings and research site. They offer many solutions to common business internet issues:

  • Examine the audience and traffic to your website
  • Reach the audience you are trying to target
  • Optimize your advertising strategy
  • Benchmark your site
  • Customized research for your business needs

USF –

USF Web Style Guidelines http://usfweb2.usf.edu/ur/webadmin/webguide.html

This web page efficiently outlines the rules and regulations of official USF web pages. There are many policies which must be adhered to if one is setting up an official USF page, but personal pages are given more leeway than department or publicly viewed pages officially representing the school. This guideline site lists the definitions of an official page and the legal requirements. In particular, the university logo is discussed. It is required to be on all official pages and must be located on the top- preferably upper left corner of banner. One must download an official logo which adheres to the official colors and sizes. Each logo must link to the USF home page and it is forbidden to use the USF official seal on any web page. Like any company, the university is trying to make all official pages somewhat uniform. It is important for viewers to be able to tell that any official page they are linked to is clearly connected through similar themes and colors.

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