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Design Philosophies

Silicon Fen Websites has quite different design philosophies to many other web design companies. Our priorities are that sites are pleasant to look at, functional, structured so that they are intuitive to navigate, and accessible to all, including those with disabilities. Whilst we will do flashy animation if you really want it, we don't generally recommend it. These principles do not mean that sites have to be dull; for some excellent examples of complex design done how we believe it should be, see CSS Zen Garden.

We believe that our relatively plain sites are easier and more pleasant to use. Since most of the content of our pages is plain text, our pages rank more highly in search engines. Because we don't abuse HTML attributes to achieve fancy formatting (which can often be achieved in other ways), our sites are accessible to more people; in particular, it should be possible for blind people who use speech browsers to navigate them.

We test our sites in a number of browsers at a range of screen resolutions and font sizes. People are not going to change their screen resolution when they encounter your site, as some designers still seem to believe. Your site needs to look reasonable at any resolution, and our sites are designed with this fact in mind. Sites such as those we design, which change width to fit your browser window, are known as 'fluid' sites and in surveys were found to be preferred by the vast majority of internet users; unfortunately only about 20% of websites are fluid sites, but your site can be one of them!

Because of our design principles, the code for our pages tends to be smaller and therefore faster to download and display than that of many other design companies, making our sites more pleasant to use.