5 Basic Rules Of Web Design

5 Basic Rules Of Web Design

5 Basic Rules of​ Web Design the​ most important rule in​ web design is​ that your web site should be easy to​ read. What does this mean? You should choose your text and​ background colours very carefully. You don't want to​ use backgrounds that obscure your text or​ use colours that are hard to​ read. Dark-coloured text on a​ light-coloured background is​ easier to​ read than light-coloured text on a​ dark background.

You also don't want to​ set your text size too small (hard to​ read) or​ too large (it will appear to​ shout at​ your visitors). All capitalised letters give the​ appearance of​ shouting at​ your visitors.

Keep the​ alignment of​ your main text to​ the​ left, not cantered. Centre-aligned text is​ best used in​ headlines. You want your visitors to​ be comfortable with what they are reading, and​ most text is​ left aligned.

Your web site should be easy to​ navigate

All of​ your hyperlinks should be clear to​ your visitors. Graphic images, such as​ buttons or​ tabs, should be clearly labelled and​ easy to​ read. Your web graphic designer should select the​ colours, backgrounds, textures, and​ special effects on your web graphics very carefully. it​ is​ more important that your navigational buttons and​ tabs be easy to​ read and​ understand than to​ have "flashy" effects. Link colours in​ your text should be familiar to​ your visitor (blue text usually indicates an​ unvisited link and​ purple or​ maroon text usually indicates a​ visited link), if​ possible. if​ you elect not to​ use the​ default colours, your text links should be emphasized in​ some other way (boldfaced, a​ larger font size, set between small vertical lines, or​ a​ combination of​ these). Text links should be unique - they should not look the​ same as​ any other text in​ your web pages. You do not want people clicking on your headings because they think the​ headings are links.

Your visitors should be able to​ find what they are looking for​ in​ your site within three clicks. if​ not, they are very likely to​ click off your site as​ quickly as​ they clicked on.

Your web site should be easy to​ find

How are your visitors finding you online? the​ myth, "If I build a​ web site, they will come," is​ still a​ commonly held belief among companies and​ organisations new to​ the​ Internet. People will not come to​ your web site unless you promote your site both online and​ offline.

Web sites are promoted online via search engines, directories, award sites, banner advertising, electronic magazines (e-zines) and​ links from other web sites. if​ you are not familiar with any of​ these online terms, then it​ is​ best that you have your site promoted by an​ online marketing professional.

Web sites are promoted offline via the​ conventional advertising methods: print ads, radio, television, brochures, word-of-mouth, etc. Once you have created a​ web site, all of​ your company's printed materials including business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, etc. should have your URL printed on them.

Not only should your web site be easy to​ find, but your contact information should be easy to​ find. People like to​ know that there is​ a​ person at​ the​ other end of​ a​ web site who can help them in​ the​ event that:

1. They need answers to​ questions which are not readily available on your web site;

2. Some element on your site is​ not working and​ end users need to​ be able to​ tell you about it, and​

3. Directory editors need you to​ modify parts of​ your site to​ be sure that your site is​ placed in​ the​ most relevant category.

By giving all relevant contact information (physical address, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and​ email address), you are also creating a​ sense of​ security for​ your end users. They can contact you in​ the​ way that makes them feel the​ most comfortable.

Your web page layout and​ design should be consistent throughout the​ site

Just as​ in​ any document formatted on a​ word processor or​ as​ in​ any brochure, newsletter, or​ newspaper formatted in​ a​ desktop publishing program, all graphic images and​ elements, typefaces, headings, and​ footers should remain consistent throughout your web site. Consistency and​ coherence in​ any document, whether it​ is​ a​ report or​ a​ set of​ web pages, project a​ professional image.

For example, if​ you use a​ drop shadow as​ a​ special effect in​ your bullet points, you should use drop shadows in​ all of​ your bullets. Link-colours should be consistent throughout your web pages. Typefaces and​ background colours, too, should remain the​ same throughout your site.

Colour-coded web pages, in​ particular, need this consistency. Typefaces, alignment in​ the​ main text and​ the​ headings, background effects, and​ the​ special effects on graphics should remain the​ same. Only the​ colours should change.

Your web site should be quick to​ download

Studies have indicated that visitors will quickly lose interest in​ your web site if​ the​ majority of​ a​ page does not download within 15 seconds. (Artists' pages should have a​ warning at​ the​ top of​ their pages.) Even web sites that are marketed to​ high-end users need to​ consider download times. Sometimes, getting to​ web sites such as​ Microsoft or​ Sun Microsystems is​ so difficult and​ time consuming that visitors will often try to​ access the​ sites during non-working hours from their homes. if​ your business does not have good brand name recognition, it​ is​ best to​ keep your download time as​ short as​ possible.

A good application of​ this rule is​ adding animation to​ your site. Sure, animation looks "cool" and​ does initially catch your eye, but animation graphics tend to​ be large files. Test the​ download time of​ your pages first. if​ the​ download time of​ your page is​ relatively short and​ the​ addition of​ animation does not unreasonably increase the​ download time of​ your page, then and​ ONLY then should animation be a​ consideration.

Finally, before you consider the​ personal preferences of​ your web page design, you should consider all of​ the​ above rules FIRST and​ adapt your personal preferences accordingly. the​ attitude "I don't like how it​ looks" should always be secondary to​ your web site's function. Which is​ more important: creative expression/corporate image or​ running a​ successful business?

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