The Importance of Image Maps

in Web Design    (submitted 2012-08-18)

Accessibility and navigation is the hallmarks of good web design. To any website design Sydney Company, a good website is not only attractive to look at, but is also accessible and navigable. Image maps form an important part of the navigation process.

An image map is a type of image that has “active areas”. When a user selects any one of the active areas, action occurs. Examples of this type of action are that the user is sent to a new web page. Appearance of a pop-up window is also included within plethora of actions. According to website design specialists, img maps are of two types: client side img map and server side img map.

According to website design Sydney professionals, in a client side image map, the browser used by the visitor processes a Universal Resource Identifier or URI. The internet is populated by a number of points of content. You can use the Universal Resource Identifier to identify any of these numerous points of content. A content point can be a page of text, a sound clip, a video, a still or animated image or even a program. The information for all of the “active” areas within the image is sent to the browser. Graphic of the image map is also sent along with it. The image map resides on the client or the user’s browser. The USEMAP code is used by a client side img map and is accessible when the alternative text is supplied for each active area of the img map. Alternative text can also be provided for the image map.

As per the concepts held by website design Sydney professionals, in case of server side img map, a file on the host server contains the coordinates for the image map. Requests are processed by server script. If you wish to create an accessible server-side image map, you must provide a list of alternative text links on the same page as the img map or a hyperlink to another web page that contains equivalent text links. A server side image utilizes the ISMAP code and is currently not accessible to anyone using non-graphical browsers. It will also not be accessible to anyone who has his or her browser with images turned off.

For a website design professional, the use of frames should be avoided as much as possible. Usage is permissible only if the usability of the site improves as a result of using frames. If frames are used, then people with disabilities should visit a FRAMESET page. There they should select a frame from a list of frames on the page. Meaningful frame titles must be provided so that disabled users can easily identify the frame they want to open. To do this, a website design Sydney professional must include meaningful titles on the source page for each frame by using the TITLE element. A meaningful TITLE and NAME attribute should also be assigned for each FRAME element on the FRAMESET page. If you wish to create an accessible frame source then the source of the FRAME element should always be an HTML file.

About the Author

James Winson is an owner of a website design company. In addition to a successful web design Sydney company owner, Winson is also a professional logo designer.