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How to make sure that your web site follows general Web conventions?

Users overwhelmingly prefer sites which employ common Web conventions (Nielsen, 1997). However, common standards are very rare in web design. Some of the few that exist are:

Follow the standard hyperlink colors: blue for non-visited hyperlinks, purple for visited hyperlinks, and red for active hyperlinks (but if you have a site with a blue background -or any dark color- please choose a color that can clearly be contrasted from the background color. That is, if the choice is to either violate the standard or not be visible, choose visibility!).

  • Place a navigational link to the homepage at the upper left corner and bottom of each page. 

  • Place the site's internal hyperlinks at the bottom of each page (in addition to other places).  

  • Images and text space should not cause horizontal scrolling on lower resolution screens. 

  • At the bottom of each page, place the date that the page was updated and the URL address.  

  • The text should facilitate the scanning of information.   

  • Use ALT-Tags for graphics, especially for graphics that serve as hyperlinks.

For an excellent and more detailed discussion of general Web conventions, see the Yale Style Manual website: External linkhttp://info.med.yale.edu/caim/manual/contents.html

Other fine guidelines include: 


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Last modified on 27 june 2004

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