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Five Fingers of WebDesign
"A Handy Guide -- Part I"

Content is the back bone to any website. Without content there's no point. Yes I know there are plenty of examples of websites with little or no content. Okay, so there are plenty of websites for which there's no point. Try not to add your website to that list.

The folks that generate content don't need to know design or html coding. These folks should be intimately familiar with the company, services, and/or products involved. These are the "word-smiths". They bring the website's message to the browsing public through text.

The intial design of a webpage is not that different than design for a brouchure. The key elements are selection of graphics, logos, color scheme and layout format. While it is essential that the designer(s) consult with the HTML Coders so that they may understand the give and take of what's possible, it is still essentially a visual design problem not a coding problem. These folks are "mood-smiths". They have the difficult task of communicating mood and intent to a browser-by in three seconds or less. Yep. It's the first three seconds that determines the browser's emotional response to your site.

HTML Coding
HTML coding is essentially a problem in programming. HTML as a programming language may be simple or complex. Depends on where one draws the line and how far one pushes the envelop. In our discussion we are loosely grouping such elements as HTML code, Perl, JavaScript, SSI, PHP, etc., etc.

While it is not necessary for the HTML coder to generate the content or page design, it is required that the HTML coder have a fundamental understanding of the design and content.

Based on an understanding of the content, the site structure and navigation will be generated. While the coder is usually not the person generating the content, he, she or they, must be in the loop as to existing content and future plans. You can save bundles of money if you allow the coder to anticipate future directions of growth. These folks are "code-smiths". They are responsible for a browser's navigation and interaction with your website.

Will to Be
There must be someone somewhere in the team who holds the "Will to Be" for the website. This is the one who insists that the project move forward and not fail. If no one checks in to nudge the content generator along, it can fall between the cracks. If the designer is not forced to make a decision they may forever waffle back and forth between options. If the HTML coder is not required to have the job done on a schedule, he or she will set the project on a back burner and handle one of the squeekier wheels. That is the way it is. There must be someone for whom it is not okay that the seasons of the year come and go with the website still in the "it's almost done" mode.

Promotion is not only one of the five fingers of webdesign it is the opposable thumb. Without adequate promotion no work can be accomplished. What does it profit a webteam if a site is posted and no one comes?

Continue to Part II