Design Tips for Your New Website

Keep it simple
the average attention span of a casual Internet user is approximately 1 minute. If your navigational system is overly complicated, you’re likely to lose qualified traffic. Keep it simple. Build menus one row across or one column down and make sure to include a tab for company information as well as contact information. All other tabs can be used to organize your products or services. Should you need additional categories, adding a CSS drop down menu is recommended.

Avoid frames
Search engines such as Yahoo will not crawl keywords on your frame subsets. Advances in Web design technology replace the need for frames. It’s best to begin with a simple master page design that can be customized for each menu bar option.

Avoid animated images and pre-loaded sound
Many consumers are put off by Websites that automatically play sounds, animated gifs, videos, etc. This alone can cause you to lose qualified traffic. Captivate your reader with a strong logo, tagline and use images that accentuate the text

Optimize your site to fit on all screens
Many consumers use multiple screens to view content. While your site may look great on a desktop screen, it will look drastically different on a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone. User testing will ensure that your desktop site works just as well and looks just as appealing on a smart phone. Many sites have a mobile theme designed for smartphones. This theme also gives users the option of viewing the full site and is essentially a shortened, condensed version of your site.

Make your links obvious
Accentuate links by using text emphasis such as bold, underline or alternate colors. Links should easily be distinguishable from the other text so users know they can click the word for more information. As a best practice, avoid saying ‘click here’. Instead, highlight the keyword that relates to the linked page.

Avoid large images and flash
Flash is not supported by Apple products such as the iPhone or iPad. Users visiting a site with flash via an iPhone or iPad will be unable to see your content. Also, large images can drastically impact page load time. Compressing images will ensure your page loads quickly and you don’t lose qualified traffic.

Effective Web design includes colors and images that enhance your content, simple navigation bars and quick load time. The next time you visit a website, take notice of your own feelings when it comes to colors, page load speed, and ease of use. Designing your site in a way that’s attractive and functional will set you up for success as you establish your business on the Internet.

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