Chapter 11: Sophisticated Visual Design 279

Chapter 11: Sophisticated Visual Design 279 using a different method, such as standard text linking enhanced with style, or dynamic menu systems. The main problem with using image maps is accessibility. Should you choose to go with an image map, here are a few guidelines that will help: Always use alt text inside the img element and all coordinate areas. This helps improve understanding of the purpose of a given area within the map. All the colors used in your map should be readable. Consider using longdesc to describe your map more effectively. For example, if it s a map of the United States and you can get state information by clicking on a state, you should describe that clearly to your visitors. Always have alternative, accessible navigation available. Never use server-side image maps. They aren t accessible to people who are using non-GUI browsers, whereas client-side maps can be. Despite these problems, image maps are extremely well supported browser-wise, can be written to standards, are easy to create, and can sometimes be esthetically impressive and useful (see Figure 11-5). Figure 11-5: Image maps are often very useful. Secret #190: Make the Most Out of Text-Based Type Typography remains an area ofWeb design that frustrates designers to no seeming end. Even with the text sizing and formatting options that CSS provides, the reality is that you re still limited by the font faces that you can use a carryover problem

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