Web Design Tips
Nowadays, having a website for your business is like having a phone number. Almost every business has their own website, with their own domain name. When designing professional websites, there are certain things that the designer should keep in mind. Remember, a website that sells, is a website that really pays off.
Following are some of the most important guidelines which must be acknowledged when designing a professional website that sells.
Design for all browsers and resolutions
Make sure that your website is browser independent. Not everyone is using Internet Explorer (IE) or Netscape (NS). There are millions of browsers available on the market. Also, it is very important to make sure that your website is designed for different screen resolutions. Try using percentage value instead of fixed width value. Make sure that your website is at least viewable in different browsers and resolutions, if not the same.
Use simple navigation
Make sure that it is easy for your visitors to browse through the whole website. A website does not work if a visitor has to take more than 30 seconds to figure out how to get to a particular page.
Avoid having lengthy pages
Visitors do not usually like to scroll down pages. If your potential customer has to scroll down about 10 screens in order to get a particular information, then your website is not selling. Keep your information short and helpful.
Always have an alternative navigation in text format at the bottom of the page
This helps a lot if your main navigation is inaccessible (due to broken image/ no flash plug-in, etc). In this way, the visitors can still access to different pages even though the main navigation is not working.
Use ALT and height and width properties for images
Some visitors have turned off images or disallow animated gifs. Setting ALT allows the visitor to know what the picture is. It is also very useful for Search Engine Optimisation. Setting height and width allows your layout to look the same even if the browser does not support images.
Avoid having busy or colorful backgrounds
Having busy or colorful background makes your website look unprofessional. Moreover, a website does not work if the visitor has to highlight the text in order to read it.
Avoid having unreadable text
As mentioned above, a website does not work if the visitor has to highlight the text in order to read it. Use contradictory colors for background and text. For example: back text on a white background.
Do not use visible counters
It is not a good idea to have a visible counter with statistics on your website. If your website is getting a lot of hits, the counter seems like you are showing off. If your website is not getting a lot of hits, it gives an impression to the visitor that your website is not worth visiting. If you would like to track visitors, use invisible counters instead of visible ones.
Avoid too many animations
Use web safe colors
Use web safe colors (216 colors), so that your website will still look fine even if it is being viewed with low color resolutions.
Use common fonts
Use common fonts that every operating system has. For example, Arial, Times Roman, Verdana. You are encouraged to offer generic fonts only as a last alternative.
Do not center the entire page
Avoid centering the entire page. It makes the website look like a tree.
Do not use frames
Frames are not supported in every browser. Besides, search engines are not able to index frame pages and thus your website will not get listed as search result.
Be consistent in terms of font, layout and color. A website does not work if every sub page is having different looks.
Know when to use gif or jpg
Make appropriate use of gif and jpg files. Know when to use them, and why you use them.
Always optimize your images for web viewing
Optimizing your images to ensure that they meet the web standards. Having optimized images saves the page loading time.
Avoid using CAPITAL letters for every text
Capital letters are supposed to be used for headings, and for other important information. Text written in capital letters are usually harder to read than standard text. Besides, according to Netiquette, typing in ALL CAPS is considered to be shouting or screaming and is therefore rude.
Do not play background music automatically
It is very annoying if your background music/audio plays automatically everytime the website is loaded. If you would like your visitors to hear something, let them know how they can play the audio themselves. Use standard buttons like PLAY and STOP.