Basic Rules of Good Website Design :: Tips #1

Here are some basic tips related to web design for your education and use in the future.

Website & Network

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Your Website Should be Easy to Read and Navigate:

• The most important rule in web design is that your web site should be easy to read.  What does this mean?  You should choose your text and background colors very carefully.  You don’t want to use backgrounds that obscure your text or use colors that are hard to read.  Dark-colored text on a light-colored background is easier to read than light-colored text on a dark background.
• You also don’t want to set your text size too small (hard to read) or too large (it will appear to shout at your visitors).  Words in ALL CAPS give the appearance of shouting at your visitors.
• Keep the alignment of your main text to the left, not centered.  Center-aligned text is best used in headlines.  You want your visitors to be comfortable with what they are reading, and most text is left aligned.
• All of your hyperlinks should be clear to your visitors.  Graphic images, such as buttons or tabs, should be clearly labeled and easy to read.
• Your web graphic designer should select the colors, backgrounds, textures, and special effects on your web graphics very carefully.  It is more important that your navigational buttons and tabs be easy to read and understand than to have “flashy” effects.
• Link colors in your text should be familiar to your visitor (blue text usually indicates an unvisited link and purple or maroon text usually indicates a visited link), if possible.  If you elect not to use the default colors, your text links should be emphasized in some other way (boldfaced, a larger font size, set between small vertical lines, or a combination of these).
• Text links should be unique – they should not look the same as any other text in your web pages.  You do not want people clicking on your headings because they think the headings are links.

• Your visitors should be able to find what they are looking for in your site within three clicks.  If not, they are very likely to click off your site as quickly as they clicked on.

Successful Website Words

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Your Web Site Should be Easy to Find:

• Web sites are promoted online via search engines, directories, award sites, banner advertising, electronic magazines (e-zines) and links from other web sites.  If you are not familiar with any of these online terms, then it is best that you have your site promoted by an online marketing professional.
• Web sites are promoted offline via the conventional advertising methods: print ads, radio, television, brochures, word-of-mouth, etc.  Once you have created a web site, all of your company’s printed materials including business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, etc. should have your URL printed on them.
• Not only should your web site be easy to find, but your contact information should be easy to find.  People like to know that there is a person at the other end of a web site who can help them in the event that they need to contact you about something important related to your site.
• By giving all relevant contact information (physical address, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and email address), you are also creating a sense of security for your end users.  They can contact you in the way that makes them feel the most comfortable.
I will follow with more web design tips for you in the next post.  Have a wonderful day, and all good luck to you.

Marv Wells

Marv Wells & Logos

 

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