Presentation Layer in Website Design

As we are all aware, there are always two sides of every website design. The visual side that all users see with all the graphic elements, buttons, pictures and the side behind it, which is the code that is responsible for the functionality of the website. How to achieve the balance?

The enabling side does not contain only one type of code, but it encompasses different ones. First off all it is HTML code, which creates a framework in which to embed CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) or programming languages such as PHP. In other words HTML is used to structure the content on the page, while CSS allows treating your website content and its style separately and programming languages communicate instructions to the computer.

HTML itself does not power such effects as drop down menus or carousels. There is a code which is expressively dedicated to the user interface while other code is used to process data and connect to database. The ‘presentation layer’ refers to graphical interface as well as to the code that powers it, including the code that controls interactive elements such as drop down menus.

Animated and immersive design is achieved through the use of either Adobe Flash or combination of HTML, CSS and other scripting languages mixed together.

For many years Adobe Flash was in the lead, but it started to change. Nowadays with the development of HTML 5 and CSS we are able to increasingly replicate much of the interactive and animation effects.

HTML 5, the most recent edition of HTML has made a huge step forward in terms of presentation layer design capabilities. It provides an improved toolkit of elements and properties and acknowledges the way designers work and use particular elements. For example it allows designers to define a navigation group with the new ‘nav’ instead of the previously used ‘div’ element. The animation and interaction design support features of HTML5 have also improved impressively, and the fact that HTML5 is supported on mobile browsers such as Apple’s Safari has opened up the web design possibilities.