Join Laurie Burruss for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing a browser, part of Web Site Planning and Wireframing: Hands-On Training.
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Before you start designing and developing a web site in Dreamweaver, it's important to sit down with your client and figure out who the target audience is because you want your web site to work in all of the browsers that your typical target audience would use. For instance, if you are working on a web site for a large college campus like Pasadena City College, you might be testing in eight or nine browsers. New browsers, unknown browsers, extinct browsers, because you have 23,000 students who will be hitting that campus, who have all kinds of machines, who have all kinds of ISP connections, who have all kinds of browsers and you want to make that content accessible to as many as people as possible.
However, if you are a small Boutique Designers, you might only target only two of the top browsers because you know you have high end clients who are coming to your web site and you are not trying to target 23,000 people, just a couple 100 top end design companies. That said, let's take a look at what people are using right now. On this web site called market share, it's astounding but true that Microsoft Internet Explorer has three quarter of the market share of browsers. This fact is because with any Windows machine is sold, by default Internet Explorer is installed on that Operating System. That is one of the biggest reasons that it is pervasive. The other popular browsers currently are Firefox, Safari, and Opera. Netscape and Mozilla are essentially on their way out or becoming extinct. But you might have target audiences who have old versions of these, and you still might have to test for these in the future depending on that discussion about what the target audience is.
So, Let's take a look at some of the top browsers. Internet Explorer 7 as I have said before is the number one browser installed on most machines that are accessing the Internet. It came out about a year ago. It's had mixed reduced, it's been a little bumpy but you will be designing for this browser and you will have to get used to the idea that this is one of the browsers you will be use for testing and deployment. I keep it installed on my machine all the time and test in it frequently. Second web site I'm going to show you is the Safari web site. It is produced by Apple. A year ago, most of us didn't design for this as much because one of the issues was it wasn't cross-platformed. When choosing a browser for your web site, you want one that works on both platforms. You want to make it as easy for people as possible. People don't care if it is Mac or it is Windows, they just want to be able to access the Internet from whatever machine that they are sitting at.
Opera browser is also a great browser. I do have it installed, I use it, I do test in it. It does follow Web Standards. It is cross-platformed but I think its biggest drawback is it is very small market audience. In this course, we are going to be using Firefox 3.0. It's easy to get to, it's easy to install, it has great support. It's just three steps. Click on the Download button, follow the instructions and if you are looking for the applications, if you are on a Mackintosh it will be in your Applications Folder and if you are working in Windows, if you go to your Program Files you will find Firefox 3.0 loaded there.
Download the free support materials here from the Exercise Files tab.
After learning the tools and techniques demonstrated in this course, viewers can continue on to the next course in this series: Creating a CSS Style Guide: Hands-On Training.
- Seeing, scanning, and reading a web page
- Understanding naming conventions
- Creating file structures
- Understanding page hierarchy
- Using Acrobat and Photoshop with wireframes
- Building a professional wireframe from scratch
- Identifying and using web standards in site design
- Usability Testing