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Web Design Resources

Web page design is not just for the professional web designer. With a computer, access to web space for posting your page, and a little knowledge, anyone can create a web page. The following online resources provides the basic reference tools and a variety of tutorials for authoring web pages using various markup languages, adding style to your page display using style sheets, information on both usability and accessibility, basic web design principles; and the professional organizations that can help you develop your skills.

Authoring & Markup Languages
W3C Markup Validation Service, from W3C: You can use the validator to check HTML and XHTML code against the W3C recommendations.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML): Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), HTML is the most popular markup language used in web design today. The following is a selected list of sites providing news about HTML development, specifications for the language, tutorials, and various helper sites.
eXtensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML): XHTML is a bridging language between HTML 4.0 and XML. It includes many of the features of HTML, strict emphasis on the separate of structure from presentation, and includes the ability to add or "extend" the language to include locally-devised tags.
eXtensible Markup Language (XML):
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) & Presentation
Beyond the basic structure of your web page which organizes the content, there is also the presentation of your page. How does it look when displayed to a user? Cascading Style Sheets is the answer! CSS allows you to customize the display of your page. Do you want your main page title to be red? Do you want margins to be a specified width? CSS can help. A more extensive list of CSS resources can be found at http://webdesign.karenplummer.com/css-extended.html
Professional Organizations
Usability & Accessibility
Usability: Have you ever visited a web page and not known how to find what you wanted? Or was it so badly organized that you gave up your search in frustration? Sites that are considered "usable" include features such as well-organized content; logical and obvious methods to navigate the site; content that can be quickly accessed through search engines, site maps, or indexing; and reader-friendly/jargon-free text. The following links provide further information about creating or evaluating the usability of your website.
Accessibility: Accessibility takes usability a step further. Not only should the site be usable, it should also be accessible to everyone, regardless of ability. It is estimated that 4 out of 10 persons accessing the web have some sort of disability thus a truly usable website must also take into consideration the various methods that people can access the web including screen readers, adaptive or assistive technologies, multimedia captioning, and so forth. The W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has led the efforts to make the web accessible through development of recommendations for creating accessible content as well as setting standards for creating more access-friendly browsers.
Web Design
Web pages and websites are much more that marked-up content, style definitions, and pretty colors. Web development includes thorough planning and developing a site specification which answers the following questions: What are the measurable goals for the site? Who is the target audience? What are the technical limitations? What are the content requirements? What are the features and prioritization? What is the site's structure? What is the timeline and schedule for completion? and Who will maintain the site? The following resources provide some information to help you plan your site.

Web Standards Group Member   W3C XHTML   W3C CSS