Web Application Tools Applied In Web Design

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This web design tutorial is not a software manual. It is volume that provides theories, processes, and a tutorial view of industry standard Web applications. Some of the processes are worked out on paper or in a word processing program. Some processes require using graphical or Web design software. For many of these, I provide step by step tutorials so that you can try to execute the techniques on your own. Obviously, you can’t learn every conceivable application in one web design tutorial. The tools mentioned in this web design tutorial can be amended to suit your particular skill level or the platform and tool set used in your company.

The intent is to help you understand the applications betters so that you can do further exploratory learning. For a more detailed and expanded coverage of the applications in this web design tutorial, consult the reference section and suggested readings provided in the appendix. The applications exemplified in this text are industry standards for high end Web design and development. Pure HTML coding will be kept to a minimum. We will explore the applications to expand your tool set and challenge your abilities. Here are the applications that will be presented in this text:

  • Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 for Web authoring and site management (FTP)
  • Macromedia Fireworks MX 2004 for Web graphics creation and slicing

  • Macromedia Flash MX 2004 for motion graphics
  • Macromedia Freehand MX 2004 for logo type and illustrations
  • Adobe Photoshop for Web graphics creation
  • Adobe Audition for audio editing and output Layout Elements in This Book

Following are the specific layout styles that you will see throughout the text:

Menu commands will be in bold and will follow this form Menu > Sub-Menu > Sub-Menu. This web design tutorial uses Windows PC commands as a default.

Here are the common substitutes:

PCMAC Right+click

CTRL+click CTRL+click

.Apple+click CTRL+Z (undo)

Apple+Z CTRL+Enter

Apple+Enter Review


Hopefully, this first web design lesson has laid the foundation for your understanding what a Web portfolio is and what it does. The Web portfolio is an electronic portfolio which is specifications and context are variably defined from discipline to discipline.

Most definitions share the fact that the Web portfolio is a collection of artifacts that exhibit lifelong learning. In addition, I add that the Web portfolio is an appearance that exists professionally and publicly. The Web portfolio fosters learning and growth and is a platform for exhibition of skills and experience, regardless of discipline.

A person or business can have a Web portfolio. A Web portfolio is not simply a Web site, it has a specific purpose. It is to persuade the user to act or think favorably about the portfolio and the author.

The Web portfolio process is a learning experience in itself, requiring the author to reflect and gather important artifacts from their previous learning experi- ences. These materials are dispersed in different media and format and must be uniformly processed and published in a Web site.

Knowledge organization, information architecture, software skills, and visual design are learned and used repeatedly throughout the Web portfolio development process. The next web design lesson will help you brainstorm and develop the concepts and messages needed to convey your best professional appearance.

This stage is critical to getting the process started and developing a strong idea that is backed by a creative theme and intelligent messages. Conceptualization is the first step in the Web portfolio development process.


This web design lesson provides instruction, examples, and steps on how to begin the creative production process. Focus will be on user centered design, conceptualization, and creation of documents that define the scope of your personal Web portfolio project. Topics include understanding the user, brain- storming to determine audience, messages, and supporting images needed as well as development of scope documents for the Web portfolio.

The scope documents are the concept statement, content list, and content outline. These documents help you, the author, to gather your thoughts and begin to record the ideas in hardcopy form. The ideas you put down on paper will go through revision and possibly redefinition during the conceptualization process. Don’t worry, this is natural.

This initial struggle with ideas is important to establishing solid content and design. Without conceptualization, comm unication is lost in the translation from the author to the media. This can be deadly in the case of the Web portfolio. Because the goal of the Web portfolio is to persuade, it is vital that all important messages are to the forefront. Without them, it is difficult to establish a personal credibility, identity, and communication channel with the user.

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