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The first structure explained in our text is Linear. A linear architecture displays a storyboard-type layout that links to a webpage before and a webpage after the current page. This type of layout is basically like reading a book where you can only turn one page before or one page after the current page you are reading. The benefit to this type of layout is that it is good for reading sequentially. A drawback is that it is impossible to jump ahead or jump back multiple pages.
The second structure is known as the Hierarchal structure. This type of structure varies from linear in that instead of jumping forward or backwards, you are going to subpages or higher pages in the structure. This type of structure is good for generic webpages that do not need to be read sequentially. A company webpage with services they offer is a good example of when hierarchal structure should be used.
The final structure is the Mixed, or Hybrid, structure. The mixed structure is a combination of both linear and hierarchal structures. Sometimes a webpage does not fit into either structure above and could benefit from both so they are combined into one and it fits the needs perfectly.
My preferred structure is the mixed structure because it has so many uses. On my personal webpage, I use the Hierarchal structure because I do not have a need for anything linear, but I still prefer the mixed structure. My first example is iFixit. iFixit has a hierarchy, as seen across the top, and each article has a linear structure where each product they tear down has multiple pages. (http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nexus-One-Teardown/1654/1) Another example of a website that uses the mixed structure is How Stuff Works. They also have a general breakdown navigation bar across the top, then you can drill down to the topic you are interested in. Once you find the article, the article itself is a linear structure that links to the next and previous pages. This page also lists all pages near the top of the article, making it simple to jump to a different part of the article. (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/turbo.htm)
Cascading Style Sheets are a great tool when creating and maintaining webpages. CSS uses a central file that contains the instructions for displaying a website and all of its pages. When a webpage references the CSS file, it looks at its class and grabs the instructions for displaying the data. For example, if a hyperlink on a page references the class “link,” then the page looks for the class “link” in the CSS file and displays it as directed. As long as all hyperlinks use the class “link,” it is possible to change the color, size, or font of all hyperlinks on a website just by changing the CSS file.
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