In any design or development process, there is an outlined list of what is expected from the designer and developer as requested by the client called the scope of work. This document will ensure that both parties know exactly what to expect from any given client and make sure that the client gets what they hired the designer/developer to do and that the designer or developer isn’t required to do things that weren’t agreed upon in the original scope. This is not a perfect world, though, and oftentimes new requirements or features will be needed after the original scope of work has been determined; scopes of work can be amended to include the new items at which point the designer or developer will most likely increase the payment amount to reflect the added work.
Scope creep happens when a client continues to request additional work, features, or time without renegotiating the final payment amount - the scope of work creeps upwards. Most developers and designers are nice people who will probably allow one or two new items without charging more, but this courtesy can be abused by clients who feel entitled to unlimited changes. This is a bit like trying to hit a moving target as the checklist for completion keeps growing. For the most fair and square dealing with a developer or designer, any major changes in the scope of work should warrant a renegotiation and new scope lest the developer ends up effectively working for free.
The eye has a natural tendency to scan in the direction of reading. This has led classic design to favor a layout where elements are arranged in the same direction as reading a paragraph. For English speakers (and several world language groups, of course), headlines and copy would begin in the upper left-hand corner of the webpage. Similarly, the company’s logo and brand elements would appear in the upper left-hand corner of the website framing the content below. A user’s eye will move in a Z pattern following a left-to-right and top-to-bottom path along the page. An effective web layout will exploit this tendency and place the most important headlines and copy in the upper left-hand corner. Images supporting the copy can be placed in the upper right-hand and lower left-hand corners to fill out the page (remember not to use too much copy). Even though this technique was developed for print layouts, it is still a useful way to design website layouts as well as reading itself still follows the same principles.
HTML5 possesses a substantial animation capability. The former major animation platform, Flash, is being phased out as HTML5 can deliver animations faster resulting in quicker page load speeds. Apple decided to end support for Flash on its iOS operating system, a sign of the times but also a major disincentive for its continued use. HTML5 is supported on virtually all operating systems and browsers, some of which do not run Flash. Furthermore, HTML5 animations perform better on touch screen devices. Between HTML5 animations’ superior speed and compatibility to Flash, new websites will increasingly opt for HTML5 if they use animations.
Meta tags are descriptive words or phrases that are embedded in the meta information of a website that is not visible to the users but is visible to search engines. Using meta tags allows your site to be more easily found and indexed resulting in better search rankings. Meta tags should be descriptive and include search terms that your industry and customers are likely to use. Appending this information to your homepage and website subpages is a worthwhile step in improving visibility to search engines and ultimately page ranking.