Chapter 5: The interface

Ask yourself, What Would Amazon.com Do?

Vince Flanders, on his site Web Pages that Suck, offers what he calls his most important design tip: “All it has is the question, ‘Would Amazon.com use that design element on its site?’ It’s an important question because Amazon.com has probably spent more time and money researching what works and doesn’t work on a Web site than anyone.”

The user interface of a Web page uses metaphors, images and concepts to convey function and meaning. The visual characteristics of the graphic interface and the functional sequence of interactions over time produce the characteristic look and feel of Web pages, with their hypertext linked relationships. The authors of The Web Style Guide write that graphic design and signature graphics “are not used simply to enliven Web pages — graphics are integral to the user’s experience with your site. In interactive documents, graphic design cannot be separated from issues of interface design.”

Learning objectives

The students who complete this chapter should be able to: