Useful Tips for Effective Web Design
1. Web pages that load fast – Every designer should follow this principle. You might decide to design a site that looks fantastic but few people are going to see it if it takes forever to load. Your designs should be optimised so the site should not take more than 15 seconds to load. Remember speed wins.
2. Easy Navigation – You get a site visitor – what next, hopefully your answer is you want them to look at the site. To get them to do this you need to have clear and easy site navigation. Make sure all your important course and information are in prominent places, the best one is at top – that’s commonly where a site visitor will first look. Make use of menus on the right and the left, try to link some pages of your site to these menus as well, remember if information is not easy to access you will lose visitors. Navigation plays a big role in helping your sites stickiness (how long your visitor stays and explores your site). Ask yourself this, What do visitors do as soon as they open your site? They would probably read the content of the present page and then look around to find any other page that interests them.
3. Check Browser Compatibility – Your site should be as browser compatible as possible, sometimes this means more work particularly on older browsers such as I.E 6.0 but can be worth it if it gives you a larger audience. Remember if you cannot view it, you cannot be seen.
4. Resolution – Today, there are computers with all kinds of resolution that range from 640 x 480 to 1200 x 1536 + on some PC and Macs. Your job is to ensure you or your designer design your site to ensure maximum coverage of these resolutions. Remember people will close your site if they cannot view it because it was not designed for them. Designing auto layouts that fit any screen resolution ensures that you know all your visitors see a visually appealing and professional site.
5. Minimize the use of images – Sometimes simple designs are the most effective for the web, just look at this site. Keep your site simple but neat can be an effective way not to scare your prospective customers. Don’t use big images that take ages to load. Instead use small images and splashes of colour creatively and design eye – catching icons that will draw a visitor’s attention to a particular section of your site. Tip – Visitors are mostly interested in content than in design.
6. White Space – A clean layout that uses a lot of white space enhances a site’s looks. Try to keep the focus on your content. Try not to clutter up your page with over the top backgrounds, too much colour or lots of different colour fonts. Simplicity is best white space gives a true a sense of spacious neatness and freshness to a site. Notice the white expanse in our site.
7. Fonts, types and size – It is still amazing to me that people build sites without any regard of whether the size of font they are using can be viewed by everyone and worse the use a font that is not standard which can translate onto a site viewers computer as something totally different, even worse than that they use an odd colour that ends up fuzzy orange. When you come across these sites you automatically feel that this is not a professional site. Don’t use font faces that are fancy that may not be acquirable on most computers. Remember keep to common and professional scheme fonts.
8. Broken Links – Always check for broken links before uploading your site to your server.
9. Program using pure CSS: The world is moving away from table based websites to pure CSS websites because it offers accessibility, reusability and considerably reduces file size unconnected from giving greater control over the look of your website. The single most important power you can learn today to become a calibre scheme designer is CSS programming! Even if you are not an expert at CSS you can learn to use the following simple CSS Styles Effects to enhance your website: