The design and reification of Web Information Systems is a complex task, for which many integrated development methods have been proposed. While all these methods ultimately lead to the construction of web pages, very little attention is paid to the layout of these pages. The work report in this paper amalgamates knowledge from art, cognitive psychology and scenography in an attempt to systematise WIS layout and thus to complement development methods with this respect. We discuss principles and rules for page layout that originate from knowledge of visual perception and communication, and then investigate how layout can support the intentions associated with the WIS. This amounts to guidelines for partitioning pages and using layout objects, colour, light and texture to obtain rhythm, contrast and perspective as the carriers for web page comprehension.
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