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Web Design Fundamentals is a survey of Web design and development techniques and technologies, fundamental concepts, terms, and best practices involved in professional web design. Instructor James Williamson examines popular web development tools, server-side software solutions, content management solutions, and cloud-based software, providing a high-level overview of the world of Web publishing.
As Internet connections have gotten faster, Multimedia and Interactive Content have become an increasingly important part of websites. Consequently, interactive design has become one of the largest and fastest growing fields in web design. Interactive design is a huge field and we certainly won't have time here to discuss everything involved in the production and design of interactive content. But if you were to take a broad look at it, you could define it as the creation and publishing of feature rich interfaces, video, and blended media.
If you consider yourself more of a visual designer, don't let all this programming talk scare you off. Many programs, like Adobe's Dreamweaver and Microsoft's Expression, have built-in features that allow you to generate interactive content without any scripting at all. There are also a large number of online templates available that can give you a head start in adding interactive content to the page. So using these approaches to jump start your interactive content as you learn is a great way to start. Regardless of the approach you take, it's important to keep a few basic design principles in place when considering interactive content for your site.
First, don't just do it because you can. Interactive content works best when it complements your site's goals and assist the user in achieving it. 'Just because you can' is a horrible reason to do anything. I have seen many sites lose focus and effectiveness because they spent too much time on multimedia and interactive widgets and too little time on meeting the user's expectations and needs. Also, be sure that the interactive content is appropriate for your audience. Some target audiences will respond well to, or even expect, a high degree of interactivity.
Simply put, progressive enhancement is the practice of providing alternate content or user experiences for clients that can't display your rich media or interactive interfaces. It's a good practice and it ensures that no matter how your site is being viewed, your content is still coming through loud and clear.
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