Whether your website is a small personal site with just a few pages or a bigger conglomerate website, it is always crucial to have a good design. It is important for your visitors and will determine whether they come back or not. Below are a few tips to help you obtain a good design for your website:
1. Your pages must load swiftly. The majority of visitor’s will leave a site if it takes longer than ten seconds to load. Bear in mind that even if you have a fast internet connection, not everyone does and 56k modems are still on the market.
2. Text should be easy to decipher. The text size should be the right size, and the background colour of your site must not be too dark. A more conventional bet would be to use black letters on a white background. If you want to try something more daring, be careful that the text is still easy to read.
3. You should find your site easy to navigate. Each link should be in a place that is easy to spot, as well graphic navigation elements like buttons and tabs, which should be easy to read and use. It would be a shame to loose your visitors because your graphics are too flashy.
4. The layout and design of your website should be regular in order to avoid confusion. If the design changes too much from one page to the next, your visitors will think that they are on a different website.
5. Avoid adding music and sound samples. Most people prefer not to hear music when they land on a website, especially if they are already listening to something on the radio or internet. If you must, start with the sound off and make it switch on when the visitor chooses to.
6. Make sure your website design is compatible with most browsers. Bear in mind that people don’t only use Internet Explorer on Windows, but also Mozilla Firefox and Opera (if you can, you could even try testing on a Mac). If your site targets the technology market, make sure your site is up to date as your readers will be more likely to use new browsers and appliances such as PDAs.
7. Finally, make sure your site fits all screen resolutions. You might like to surf in 1240×1080 with your new screen, but always remember that some people still use 800×600, or even 640×768! A site that looks good in high resolution could be impossible to view properly in 800×600.
If you have any uncertainties, it won’t cost you anything to make some tests. You can also ask your colleagues, friends and family for their advice. A fresh eye can always see things which you might’ve left out.
J. M. Stevens is contributing editor at WebDesignArticles.net. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.