Monthly Archives: February 2016
Website design can be a hot topic for debate considering the many factors that go into making a good site. You want to make your website show up in the search engines, preferably on page one; and at the same time you want your site to be aimed at your visitors so that they stay on it for as long as possible.
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when you design your website so that it is appealing and keeps visitors wanting more.
Web Design Tip # 1: Keep It Simple.
If you visit some of the best websites on the Internet, you’ll see one common thread running through each site, and that is they are kept simple. A cluttered site will confuse your visitors and they will leave, looking for something better.
Make sure it is pleasing to the eye by having a simple design. A simple design does not mean that it cannot be very beautifully done; it just means that it is not too busy and distracting. Take a look at other websites in your niche that are doing well. You will see that their design is simple yet appealing at the same time.
You also need to make sure that it is free of any errors because it would either consciously or subconsciously turn off your visitors. A website that is full of errors will be a complete distraction because the viewer will have his attention fixed on these errors whether he knows it or not.
Web Design Tip # 2: Keep It Quiet.
No matter how tempting it may be, do not have music playing on your site when it is first loaded. Most of the people that visit your site will move onto the next one as fast as they can as soon as they hear music blasting out of their speakers or into their headphones.
Similarly, a website that opens with somebody talking can be quite a turnoff to many people. You should instead consider having a control that can be used to turn on music if they want, or a video they can control for instructional material.
Web Design Tip # 3: Avoid Automatic Pop-ups.
Pop-ups can irritate a lot of people, and many visitors will just press x on the screen as soon as it opens. Although pop-ups are common these days, a site designed for the average consumer should not have a pop-up on the main page.
You are risking your reputation by putting pop-ups on a page, and may even be considered a spammer by some. If you are trying to build up a positive reputation in your niche, drop the pop-ups.
If you are building a subscriber list, you could either put an inline subscription form on your site, or use an exit pop-up so visitors can only view the pop-up once they leave your site (not while browsing).
Web Design Tip # 4: Make It Browser Friendly.
While many people use Internet Explorer, those that are using another search engine – such as Firefox – need to have the website open properly for them as well.
When you design your website you will need to test it on different browsers to make sure that it is compatible with some of the major ones. At the very least it should work on Firefox and Internet Explorer, but getting it to work on Safari and Opera should be a goal as well.
Web Design Tip # 5: Keep The Flash Away
Generally speaking, flash websites take longer to open and are not as search engine friendly as regular sites. If the website takes too long to open, the visitor will just head over to the back button, click it and then move on over to the next site.
Flash websites were popular when they first made the scene, and they can be very fancy and flashy; but they can be distracting and irritating at times.
If your focus is to impress visitors, then perhaps a flash website would be appropriate. But if your focus is to make money and build relationships (which is the aim of most website owners), then posting beneficial content and including some attractive graphics would do. Resist the temptation of using a flash site and remember to keep it simple.
Precedence (Guiding the Eye) Good Web design, perhaps even more than other type of design, is about information. One of the biggest tools in your arsenal to do this is precedence. When navigating a good design, the user should be led around the screen by the designer. I call this precedence, and it’s about how much visual weight different parts of your design have. A simple example of precedence is that in most sites, the first thing you see is the logo.
This is often because it’s large and set at what has been shown in studies to be the first place people look (the top left). His is a good thing since you probably want a user to immediately know what site they are viewing. But precedence should go much further. You should direct the user’s eyes through a sequence of steps. For example, you might want your user to go from logo/brand to a primary positioning statement, next to a punchy image (to give the site personality), then to the main body text, with navigation and a sidebar taking a secondary position in the sequence. What your user should be looking at is up to you, the Web designer, to figure out.
To achieve precedence you have many tools at your disposal: Position — where something is on a page clearly influences in what order the user sees it. Color — using bold and subtle colors is a simple way to tell your user where to look. Contrast — being different makes things stand out, while being the same makes them secondary. Size — Big takes precedence over little (unless everything is big, in which case little might stand out thanks to Contrast) Design Elements — if there is a gigantic arrow pointing at something, guess where the user will look? Spacing When I first started designing I wanted to fill every available space up with stuff. Empty space seemed wasteful. In fact the opposite is true. Spacing makes things clearer. In Web design there are three aspects of space that you should be considering: Line Spacing When you lay text out, the space between the lines directly affects how readable it appears. Too little space makes it easy for your eye to spill over from one line to the next, too much space means that when you finish one line of text and go to the next your eye can get lost. So you need to find a happy medium. You can control line spacing in CSS with the ‘line-height’ selector. Generally I find the default value is usually too little spacing. Line Spacing is technically called leading (pronounced ledding), which derives from the process that printers used to use to separate lines of text in ye older days — by placing bars of lead between the lines.