Sean's Personal Web Design References

Web Design Basics

Make Your Site Valuable to Your Readers

There aren't any magic pills to create a great Web page that everyone will visit again and again, but if you follow these tips your site will be more popular and easier for people to read.

  • Know your audience, and keep them in mind when you write.
    If your Web pages are frequented by people with slower modems then designing a page that looks best over a T1 is not a successful strategy.
  • Keep your pages small
    If you minimize the scrolling, chances are, your readers will get your message.

    When designing your website pay close attention to loading time, the time it takes your web pages to load. A good website design should load under 10 seconds.
    People want it yesterday not today and definitely not tomorrow.
  • Use tables of contents.
    According to Jakob Nielsen only 10% of users will scroll beyond the first screen of text. If that first screen has a table of contents viewers will click on the links to the explanatory text.
  • Keep images small.
    Large images annoy people. If it takes too long to download, many people will never see it, as they will have browsed somewhere.
  • Use Web colors.
    The browser-safe color palette will ensure that most people will see your page and images in the colors you intended.
  • Avoid large blocks of text.
    People don't read the Web, they skim it.
  • Check your spelling.
    Use a spell checker, either in your editor or on-line.
  • Keep links current.
    Check your links often to make sure they are still valid. Using a link checker speeds up pages with many links.
  • Put contact information on your pages.
    The Web is interactive and dynamic, and you should welcome comments on your pages. Also, if there is a broken link or other problem, your readers can let you know, easily.
  • Limit the use of flashy banners and advertisements.
    There is a time and place for the banners and advertisements. There is nothing more annoying than clicking on a website to see cartoon characters and advertisements for other products flashing in front of your face. This can be too much for your potential customer. Your customer is there for a purpose and if the blatant advertisements or flashing banners turn them off they may just hit the back button before they find what they are looking for. The only exception to this rule is determined by the purpose of you website.
  • Keep navigation siple and consistent
    Make sure your website design make it easy for the visitor to find the navigation buttons. If a customer has to search for a navigation button to find information about the company or the navigation buttons are not working, the visitor may get frustrated and leave you website. As a rule of thumb, your navigation buttons should be on the left side of your web page because the majority of people read from left to right. Think about reading a newspaper or a book. You look at the headlines then you read from the left to the right.
  • Common Fonts
    Use a font that is common to all web browsers and easy to read. You have to think of your market. If you are selling a product or service that is used by older individuals you may want to increase the font. Most of us are not going to get younger and with age, we find our eye sights are not what they use to be. In addition, different web browsers display fonts differently. Therefore, you want to use a universal font compatible to the popular web browser for better viewing.
Sean Marcellus
There are 10 kinds of people e in this world, those who understand binary and those who don’t.