Help students choose a color scheme

Palette Man has an interesting interface for trying out various color schemes. Students can use it to find a set of four colors and see how they like the combination. All Web safe colors. Color Schemer has a color tool for sale and an online version that supplies you with a set of compatible colors for any web safe color you pick. Very nice tool. An online color site somewhat similar to Pallette Man is Web Color Visualizer which allows you to change background and text colors to test how they look.

Use PDF format to demo Web site

Adobe Acrobat is a great tool for Web design professionals to use to demonstrate a “beta” version of a Web site design for a client. In the past, I encouraged students to show clients the look and feel of a Web site with an image created in PhotoShop. However, Acrobat will convert an entire Web site into a single PDF file which can be clicked through, commented on, and “feels” like a Web site. It is a small file size suitable for email attachment. The client can approve or comment on a design without any HTML being made available, then mail the PDF file back to the designer. While the designer must use the full version of Adobe Acrobat, the client only needs the widely used Acrobat Reader.

Quality Web Content

Web Word Wizardry A Net Savvy Writing Guide author Rachel McAlpine has a web site for Quality Web Content at webpagecontent.com. It focuses on writing and editing web content and microcontent. Every web design student needs these skills — or at least some of them — yet it’s the kind of teaching that slips through the cracks in most courses.

To make it easy for teachers & students McAlpine is preparing a CD-Rom full of tutorials, slide shows and 400 sample pages. This will be ready for sale in December 2001. Topics include writing for skim-readers, choosing and using keywords, writing html titles, optimising pages for search engines, credibility, legibility, and accessibility — and much more.

I’ll let you know when it is ready for sale. Meanwhile there are about 75 articles on such topics on her web site.

McAlpine says that students might also be interested in Peotrix #1 – a small competition for web designers – on her other web site: writing.co.nz/peox/.

New book recommendation

Thanks to Miraz in New Zealand for calling Web Word Wizardry A Net Savvy Writing Guide by Rachel McAlpine to our attention. Miraz says it focuses on the wording of web pages and such important items as using good titles and headings, meta tags, and how people read web pages. Miraz had an interesting article in Digital Web Magazine recently about making Web sites accessible.