Web Site Design Tips-Which Multimedia Option

 


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With many multimedia options now available which one is best for my site. What are they and what advantages or disadvantages are there?

As web site design advances, the emphasis remains on increasing user interactivity and ensuring information is user-accessible. The design tactic is to ensure the above without making a web page appear cluttered and adding to the page download speed which the benchmark still remains, aim for a download speed of less then 8 seconds on a 56k connection.

With video and audio files now becoming more and more common place online, this inevitably adds extra burden onto the bandwidth for the viewer. As you design, you may well benefit from a 10mb connection and your site views perfectly. But does it for the user with a 56k modem??

So as you explore the multimedia options available, always keep in mind the users and examine the options available. Keeping a close eye on your web logs will enable you to spot viewer trends and common system specs. More about this in the near future, but now for the multimedia options, we look at two of the front runners.

Animated gif's The GIF file format for images allows you to combine two or more images into a single file and to add instructions as to the way they perform upon download. For many years, this was the only option available as viewable multimedia.

Advantages
Easy to construct
Low to medium tech knowledge required
High optimisation capabilities

Dis-advantages
Can be blocked by many firewall configurations
Limited design functionality for complex banners/images

Flash Animation Movies and complex banners/adverts can be constructed with the use of the appropriate software. The results are a higher quality production that is able to be highly compressed.

Advantages
High quality results
High optimisation capabilities

Dis-advantages
Can be blocked by many firewall configurations
Higher level of skill required to compose
Software can be expensive to purchase
Add on required to view by the end user

Whatever option you choose, you must always attempt to compress as much as possible, bear in mind what your target audience is and will require, remember that broadband/DSL is still not readiliy available everywhere and that many users run their firewalls at MAXIMUM PRIVACY which will mean your image will not be viewed so ensure effective usage of the alt tags is in place.

There are far more multimedia options available and much joy can be gleamed from the use. But as far as commerce sites go, advance in moderation and inline with your target audience.

By D. Jephcote, BSc. PCM. Cert Web Apps (Open).

LOS Design offer internet consultancy for business and home users. With many years experience in online trading, his site located at http://www.losdesign.co.uk makes a great place to visit. With useful information regarding safe shopping online and merchant account information.

Free courses are run online from September to July, utilising his professional qualifications and many years experience to pass on vital skills in todays ever changing online market place.

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