HTML and CSS Reference
experience with computers is minimal—they don't even have their own email
addresses. They're interested in learning so that they can view family photos online
and exchange email with out-of-town relatives, but Dad's eyes aren't quite as sharp
as they used to be. He needs a special browser so that he can hear the text as well
as see it.
All these people are using the same computer and operating system to view the Web. In
all cases but one (young Tom), they're also using the same browser. This example illus-
trates one of the other things that you need to think about when you design your website:
the needs of the users themselves. Some of these needs are easier to accommodate than
others. The following section describes some of the considerations you saw in the previ-
There are varied levels of experience in our fictitious family. Although everyone is
keenly interested in the Web, some of them have barely used a web browser. When you
design your site, consider that the people who visit it might have varying levels of expe-
rience and browsing requirements.
Will the topics that you discuss on your site be of interest to people with different levels
of experience? If so, you might want to build in some features that help them find their
way around more easily. The key, of course, is to make your navigation as intuitive as
possible. By keeping your navigation scheme consistent from page to page throughout
the site, you'll do a favor for users of all experience levels. There are a number of fea-
tures you can add to your site that will improve its usability for everyone.
Add a Search Engine
Many users go straight to the search engine when they want to find something on a site.
No matter how much time and effort you put into building a clear, obvious navigation
scheme, someone looking for information about Frisbees is going to look for a box on
your page where they can type in the word Frisbee and get back a list of the pages where
you talk about them.
Unfortunately, locating a good search engine package and setting it up can be an awful
lot of work, and difficult to maintain. On the other hand, there are some alternatives.
Some search engines enable you to search a specific site for information. You can add a
link to them from your site. Some search engines even allow you to set things up so that
you can add their search engine to your site, such as Google: