Ten Great Web Design Tips

Description: Web design involves many different aspects and there is certainly a lot to bear in mind, but if you follow the ten simple tips given below you will be well on your way to creating a great website.

Many books have been written on the subject of web design, but we can start by picking ten essential areas which need to be borne in mind if we are to design a solid website.

1. Stick with easy navigation.

Remember the three click rule. People should be able to arrive on your home page and find the exact piece of information they are looking for without having to go more than three clicks from the home page. Make it easy for them to get there by ensuring your navigation is plain and simple. Include a site map too.

2. Make sure it's fast loading.

Don't keep your visitors waiting. It doesn't matter how good your website is if they aren't prepared to wait for everything to load. Keep your file sizes as small as possible and don't include any unnecessary graphics. Bear in mind that some people still have dial up internet connections as well.

3. Check your code.

Test your web pages before you publish them. There are tools and sites that will check your HTML code to make sure it's written correctly and will display your pages exactly as you intended them to be seen.

4. Use graphics carefully.

Don't bombard your audience with images. Every website should consist mainly of text. People don't generally go surfing for images. Anyone starting off at a search engine will be faced with results relating to the text of a website, not the pictures.

5. Stick to small pages.

Don't lose people in web pages that are a mile long. Make the most of that first screen full and make sure it includes links to other pages they might be interested in. You need to assume that they won't scroll down to see what else is there; some will, but you need to make sure you catch as many people as possible and get them to explore more of your website.

6. Keep text bite sized.

Remember that text has a visual element to it as well as containing worthwhile content. Break it up into chunks to make it more visually appealing and draw more people in to read it. Bullet points and numbered headings (much like this article) can do an excellent job of breaking things up a little.

7. Include interactive elements.

Web 2.0 has made it almost a must to make your site more accessible for your visitors. Could you include a forum? What about a members' only area? Even a simple log in and password system to make the site more styled towards individuals can help to draw people in.

8. Be user friendly.

Your visitor shouldn't have to jump through hoops to use your website. So don't make them. Check and double check every element to ensure everything works and is easy to understand and find.

9. Be clear.

This applies in lots of ways. Make sure your images are clear, make sure the meaning of your website is clear, and make sure your content is crystal clear, so there are no misunderstandings or confusion over what your site is all about.

10. Don't overcrowd the page.

Don't be afraid of some white space. It works well. Too much might be a problem but you want the overall message to be clear. The worst effect you can generate is to have a visitor reach your page and not know where to look first.

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