HTML and CSS Reference
You'll notice that each person in our fictitious family needs to see the Web differently.
Sometimes this is due to his or her interests, but other times it's because of special needs.
Therein lies the key to anticipating what you'll need on your web pages.
A topic such as “Timing the Sparkplugs on Your 300cc Motorcycle Engine” is of interest
to a more select audience. It will attract only those who are interested in motorcycles—
more specifically, those who want to repair their own motorcycles. It should be relatively
easy to anticipate the types of things these visitors would like to see on your site. Step-
by-step instructions can guide them through each process, while images or multimedia
can display techniques that are difficult to describe using text alone.
“The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,” on the other hand, will attract students of all
ages as well as their teachers. Archaeologists, historians, and others with an interest in
ancient history also might visit the site. Now you have a wider audience, a wider age
range, and a wider range of educational levels. It won't be quite as easy to build a site
that will please them all.
In cases such as this, it might help to narrow your focus a bit. One way is to design your
site for a specific user group, such as the following:
Elementary school students and their teachers —This site requires a basic navi-
gation system that's easy to follow. Content should be basic and easy to read.
Bright, colorful images and animations can help keep the attention of young visitors.
High school students and their teachers —You can use a slightly more advanced
navigation system. Multimedia and the latest in web technology will keep these
students coming back for more.
College students and their professors —A higher level of content is necessary,
whereas multimedia may be less important. Properly citing the sources for your
information will be important.
Professional researchers and historians —This type of site probably requires
pages that are heavier in text content than multimedia.
It's not always possible to define user groups for your website, so you'll need to start
with your own preferences. Survey other sites that include similar content. As you
browse through them, ask yourself what you hope to see there. Is the information dis-
played well? Is there enough help on the site? Does the site have too much or too little
multimedia? If you can get a friend or two to do the survey along with you, it helps you
get additional feedback before you start your own site. Take notes and incorporate those
ideas into your own web pages.