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Graphic Design

Good graphic design is essential in producing an effective website. This means knowing when to use graphics and when to avoid them, in addition to doing it well.

Before you commit to major expense, look around at other websites that you admire, and examine how they use graphics.

We would recommend that you follow the big boys, and have a simple set of graphics that fit with your image, and stay consistent across the site. Fancy (leafy patterns, bricks, fake desert etc) backgrounds and snazzy buttons tend to be the mark of the amateur, so avoid them. Ask yourself why some of the biggest names in the business use simple graphics and a white background - because it works.

You should ensure that your offline image is reflected in and consistent with the graphics on your website.

If you want animation then you need to be aware that this extends the download time, with the more complex animations - so you may find this does not add value, and may test the patience of your users.

We recommend you consult Macromedia, and review their range of products for graphic design: Fireworks, Flash and Shockwave. You can do all the graphics a small business site should need with Fireworks - which can buy (separately or as part of Dreamweaver package) through Amazon.

If you are persuaded that the more sophisticated animations acheivable through Flash and Shockwave are worthwhile, then expect to need an expert to do it for you. Before you commission the work, see a similar demo on a dial up line.


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