Screen shot 2012-06-27 at 3.45.33 PM Theory

The Usability ABC – part 3

This week I’d like to continue our Usability ABC with some even more basic terms. Those of you who are familiar with the Internet will know them, others maybe not. But even for the keen ones, it might be useful to recall the basic definitions of the following terms: Website, Web page, Homepage, Header, and Footer. As always, these items are added to our growing page of usability terms.

Website
A website is a collection of linked web pages that offer content in differing digital forms such as text, images, audio or videos files. Every website is assigned to a specific address, the so called Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Through this URL, a website can be accessed via the Internet or other, e.g. local networks. A website is hosted at one or more web servers.
Web page
A web page can be seen as online document and which makes up one page within a website. A web page is written in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) or XHTML (eXtensible Hyper Text Markup Language). Markup language is interpreted by browsers and displayed as visual and audible web pages. The actual layout of the web page is defined through CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), scripts, and images. Web pages are linked together through so called hyper links.
Homepage
The homepage describes the start page of a website. This means that visitors of the website are supposed to visit the homepage first before browsing to other web pages. However, all web pages of the website should be easily accessible through the homepage. The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the Website usually leads to the homepage.
Header
The header of a web page describes a structural element which helps better divide the content. The header is always located at the very top of the web page and usually includes a company’s logo, the main navigation, and visual elements. The header ideally gives a quick overview of the purpose of the website and it’s content. Besides, a header can be used to get users engaged and interested. Usually, the header is a reoccurring element on all web pages of a website.
Footer
The footer of a web page can be seen as counterpart to the header. Together the two form a frame around the content of the web page. The footer is located at the very bottom of the web page and usually contains information of minor importance. This information includes for example legal statements, terms of use, copyright information, etc. Just like the header, the footer of a web page usually is the same for the whole website.

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