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When designing a website, the first point to consider is its purpose on the internet, which, as everyone knows is a completely public area, and can be accessed by anybody. In my case, I have pitched my site as a professional webpage, aimed strictly at presenting my professional activities as an interpreter and translator. I also have a personal website in which I host a blog about literature and translation. This basic decision affects the whole design and appearance of the website. The different possible design solutions depend on the response of client and designer to this basic question.

Once this basis has been adequately established, the web designer must find, according to the client's needs, a formula to satisfy the established purpose. This requires scrupulous attention to the main principles mentioned earlier.

APPEARANCE

The appearance of a website is essential for capturing the visitor’s attention. A website without graphics (images or photographs) or with no attractive visual layout can cause visitors to move on immediately. We must always bear in mind that the decision to continue looking at a website or not can be made in one second and it takes just a click of the mouse to leave.

For this reason, I always carry out a full graphic study of the necessary components, to ensure that my website designs are not only sufficiently attractive but also properly adapted to the project in question.

ACCESSIBILITY

The second fundamental aspect of a website is its accessibility. A visitor must be able to move around all areas of a site as simply and easily as possible. The designer is therefore obliged to provide all the necessary elements to make this possible.

On this website, I have followed the basic rule of making it possible to access any part of the site in two clicks. As this site is available in several languages, it is possible to access the same page in any one of the other three languages simply by clicking the relevant language button. In addition to this basic methodology, I have included several cross links in the text and in many of the graphics to provide an easy shortcut to another page related to that text or image.

ORIGINALITY

The originality of a website is critical and however is probably the most difficult aspect to achieve. There are millions of websites on the World Wide Web and it is practically impossible to find one which is totally original, i.e. one which does not share some features with a number of other sites. However, a website must, and can, always include original elements and opt for a combination and composition to reflect its uniqueness. It is similar to the way in which all texts are made up of words known to all and which already exist, and yet despite this it is always possible to write another good novel which arranges the terms in a different way.

CONTENT

The content of a website is the most often neglected element. Maybe because many sites on the internet are intended for strictly business purposes, and maybe because some web designers do not have a wide enough knowledge outside the technical aspect of their computing skills, the content of many websites is extremely poor. I stress the particular importance of offering content which is rich and dense yet which does not compromise legibility. Quick, immediate user access is not necessarily incompatible with offering complete, detailed information or communication.

Moreover, content is essential to increase the visits to our website and to obtain a better position in the search engines.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS

The use of multimedia immensely enriches a website. One of the attractions of the internet is the ability to integrate text with graphics, video or sound under a single framework. A good web designer should be able to blend all these elements together with clear meaning and purpose. This feature will gain increasing significance in the future.

DYNAMIC PROGRAMMING

Dynamic programming is the invisible structure found behind the screen, which allows for the creation of websites with the above characteristics. The programming of a website is also what opens it up to the immense opportunities offered by the “strong” programming languages such as Java, for creating the type of interactive programmes which we will soon be able to enjoy via the television or mobile telephone, for example.

 
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