New developments affecting web publications

  GIPPE 00:00 09 May 04
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Hi, I am interested in how any new contemporary developments in hardware and or software will affect web design and publishing.

I hope that some of you web designers can advise of any new or future developments implications on web publishing.

  Forum Editor 01:04 09 May 04

next year GIPPE - we can all make guesses, and some of us can make educated guesses, but in truth nobody really knows.

In essence the Internet is about communicating, and the dissemination of information, and the beauty of it is that no matter how sophisticated the technology becomes - and it will become a good deal more sophisticated in the future - the success of any web site depends to a very large degree on the creativity and communicative skills of the person or people who design and publish it.

Take a trip out there in cyberspace and you'll find a planet that's literally humming with information and communication. It's absolutely astounding to see just how much is available to you from a desktop in a suburban spare bedroom, and yet the Internet as we know it has existed for barely two decades. If we can come this far in twenty years who knows what will happen, even in the next five years? One thing's for sure, there's more information out there than can be accessed in a lifetime, and it's growing fast. In August 1995 there were just 19,000 web sites on the net. Less than ten years later the growth has been phenomenal - there are now over 50 million sites online, and there are no indications that we're anywhere near the limit.

The Internet has made publishers of us all, and one of the big factors driving software development is the recognition, by the software companies, that applications should become more user-friendly. Gone are the days when site design was in the hands of an elite band of web designers who tried hard to cover their work with layer after layer of mystique. Nowadays anyone with a basic working knowledge of computing can knock out a pretty respectable site using one of the excellent design applications - no need to bother learning to hand-code in html. Hand-coding is extremely useful of course, but it's certainly not necessary any more.

Whatever the future holds there's one thing that's certain - it will be exciting and challenging, but nothing will ever displace the need for creativity and communication skills in site design. If you have no idea of how to put your message across in a way that is both visually appealing and informative all the software and hardware gizmos in the world aren't going to be of any help whatsoever.

  Pesala 12:07 09 May 04

Webdesigners will need to take account of millions of users browsing via PDA or phones. Opera allows you to view a page as it would appear on a PDA with its small-screen rendering mode: (Shift F11) click here

Good design tools are an enormous help. I'm really pleased with NetObjects Fusion MX, which is a significant improvement on NOF 4.0, and a huge improvement on NOF 2.02, with which I first designed my website.

The use of multimedia will increase as even WAP phones and PDAs become as powerful as today's broadband enabled desktop PCs. No doubt bad design will become an ever increasing problem as more of us amateurs become webmasters. Hopefully, better designed web applications will encourage stricter adherence to web design standards, making browser compatibility a non-issue.

  Forum Editor 13:57 09 May 04

and despite the heavy advertising I wonder just how many people actually browse the web on their mobile phone. On the few occasions I've tried to do it on my PDA it has been an excruciating experience, and I found myself wondering just what was so important that I had to sit hunched in my car, waiting for a tiny image to load at vast cost over a mobile phone link.

There are lots of badly designed sites out there, but that's to be expected. Just because everyone can have their own site it doesn't follow that they'll have any design sense. That doesn't matter - the Internet belongs to all of us, and I'm certainly not going to set myself up as a judge of what's good or bad. I know what I like, but that's a different thing entirely.

I say, long may it continue - I like seeing what other people publish, and I enjoy the thought that software will get better and better, leading to more and more sophisticated web sites. In the meantime it's enough of a job getting to grips with the software we have already.

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