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Javascript in Web Design

As a web designer, you have no doubt heard about Javascript and how it is enhancing webpages and allowing for more vibrant display of information. Javascript enhances the user experience by allowing the addition of animation, effects, shading and certain interactive elements that make the webpage for more interesting to look at. It is becoming a must have in the toolbox of web designers in the ever-evolving World Wide Web.

It is important at this point to make sure it is understood that Javascript is different from Java. Java is a standalone programming language that can be used to create such things as games, applications, mini applications called “applets” and any other number of interactive elements that are not necessarily used in web design. While Java objects can be displayed in web pages, the code itself is different from the HTML used to design the webpage. Javascript is a tiny language that does not create standalone objects, but rather elements to be displayed in web pages and read by HTML. It was designed by Netscape to enhance existing webpages, giving them more interactivity than just a simple HTML document. An example of a Javascript object might be a slideshow embedded in a webpage, while a Java object might actually be an interactive game embedded in the webpage.

A web designer who wants to design a webpage using Javscript elements might decide to make use of such things as flashing banners, floating elements such as an information box, image slideshows, or something as simple as a logon box for a username and password.

The code for a Javascript element will be embedded in the webpage’s HTML code and might look something like this: (without the extra spaces)

< script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" >
alert(" Welcome to my site " )
< / script >

This is part of a Javascript code that will open a pop up box with the welcome message to your website as soon as the user enters the website. A popup box can also be used to verify logon information, or send an alert or announcement of some kind.

If you are thinking of using Javascript in your design of your webpage, be sure to become familiar with how to use the script in HTML to enhance your site to its optimal. As the web becomes more dynamic and interactive, the use of Javascript will become universal in how users interact with the information they seek that you will provide.

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