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Basics of Web Design
HTML5 & CSS   Sixth Edition

Chapter 3 – Web Design Basics

As a website visitor, you have probably found that certain websites are appealing and easy to use, while others seem awkward or just plain annoying. What separates the good from the bad? This chapter discusses recommended website design practices. The topics include site organization, site navigation, page design, text design, graphic design, and accessibility considerations. Resource websites and chapter links are listed below.

Design for Your Target Audience

Web Design Best Practices Checklist

Whatever your personal preferences, your web site should be designed to appeal to your target audience — the people who will use your web site. They may be teens, shoppers, college students, young couples, the list goes on and on. All of the criteria listed at the Web Design Best Practices Checklist should be followed with an eye on your target audience.

Beginning web developers often tend to design web sites that look great on their own computers but may not display well on those of their target audience. While there is no substitution for testing on multiple devices with different screen resolutions, you may find BrowserShots to be helpful. Visit Net Market Share and StatCounter for updated browser and device statistics.

Two websites with different target audiences...

Compelling, intriguing, draws you in... Visit Sedona

Busy, getting right down to business... BLS


A wireframe is a sketch or blue-print of a web page that depicts the structure (but not the detailed design) of basic page elements such as the logo, navigation, content, and footer.

Depending on the purpose of a particular website, the wireframe may incorporate additional components including pull quotes, news items, and interactive features such as a login or search function.

Wireframes are used as part of the design process to experiment with various page layouts, develop the structure and navigation of the site, and provide a basis for communication between the project members.

Web designers often use "Lorem Ipsum" text as a placeholder for actual text on wireframes. Try out a popular lorem ipsum text generator at

Wireframe examples: and

Browser & Screen Resolution Market Share


Text Considerations

Choosing Colors

Responsive Web Design

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Basics of Web Design 6th Edition

Review Activities

Review Games

Review activities are available for this chapter. Check your knowledge of chapter terms and concepts.

Target Audience

Appealing to Kids

Appealing to Young Adults

Appealing to Everyone

Appealing to Older Adults

Writing for the Web

Navigation Examples

Design & Usability

Free Image Editors

Flat Web Design

Additional Resources