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January 3, 2013
Web Design Tips To Drive Your Online Success
By: David Watson
So, how does web design really impact your online success anyway? Well, for many businesses, their website is merely an extension of a physical store front or place of business. Just like all other marketing pieces, a website aids customers in making their buying decision. Here are a few web design tips that will help your business be success online.
KIS Method of Web Design – Keep It Simple
When laying out your pages or writing content, it is always best to keep it simple. The effective use of whitespace and standard layouts greatly affects the readability and aesthetics of your site. If the site is too cluttered, it is difficult for viewers to find the information that they are looking for.
Remember: The web is all about instant gratification. It has been said that you have 2-3 seconds to capture your viewer’s attention. Website viewers want to be able to find what they are looking for within a matter of seconds. One way to capture your viewer’s attention is through effective use of white space. White space gives your viewers’ eyes a break. When done correctly, whitespace can effectively point your visitors to the “call to action” areas of your site.
Standard Layouts for Web Design
Three-column layouts are considered favorable in web design because viewers are accustomed to it. Newspapers, magazines and other printed materials have used this layout for years. And while it may seem cumbersome, viewers will appreciate the familiarity. So, stick with what works.
Using Fonts in Web Design
As with the overall design and layout, the fonts you use and written content should be kept simple. Here are a few rules when thinking about fonts:
1) Minimize the number of fonts that are used on the site to two, at most, three different fonts.
2) Use serif fonts for Headings
3) Use sans serif fonts for text – script fonts are extremely difficult to read on screen.
4) Use standard fonts like Arial, Geneva, Verdana and Helvetica – unique fonts may not be readily available as a standard font for all viewers.
5) Use appropriately sized fonts – while it may be tempting to use extremely large fonts, be careful of their connotation. You do not want to leave your viewers feeling as though you have just shouted at them.
6) Save bold text for important pieces of information only.
Stick to these basic rules for fonts, so your viewers receive your message loud and clear.
Images for the Web
“A picture is worth 1000 words.” And this is especially true on the web. Using images can be a powerful means of delivering your “call to action” message, stir emotions in your viewers or create a lasting impression. Here are a few tips for using images effectively:
- Keep images small to speed up load times. 10K - 12K is a good rule of thumb. No one likes waiting for a site to load. If left waiting too long, your potential viewers will move on.
- Make sure images are relevant to the content. Nothing cries amateur more than images that have absolutely nothing to do with the message of the site.
- Minimize the use blinking or flashing images. If at all possible, avoid using these. If they must be used, use them sparingly to avoid distracting your viewers.
- Limit the number of images used per page. While images can add to your content or overall message, too many can have the opposite effect.
Understanding the where’s and why’s of website navigation is essential. Your website’s navigation opens doors to all areas of your site for your viewers. These doors lead them through your site and the buying process. As a result, your navigation must:
Intuitive - viewers must be able to find what they are looking for without having to think about where to go next.
Easy – as we said before, viewers like to be able to find things quickly. The more simple the navigation, the more quickly information is found.
Minimal – Turn viewers into customers in as few clicks as possible. The easier it is to buy, the more likely your viewers are to do so.
Effective web design plays an integral role in your business’ success on the web. Understanding the logistics of web design will not give you a polished image, it will also provide your viewers with a positive, user-friendly environment that will appeal to them. As a result, you will see higher conversion rates on your site and more sales for your business.