Important Rules in Website Design
When it comes to the success of your website, design is key! Attention should be paid to every little detail in order to ensure the website both appears and performs to the highest possible standard. Your website could be described as the headquarters of the company, and is often the first point of contact between you and a potential client. It is the virtual representation of your company and what many people form a judgement about your company off of. Without a doubt, these first impressions matter! While a beautifully designed website shines a favorable light on the company, a shabby one gives the impression that you are unprofessional and do not care for quality. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you implement great design principles in order to portray your business in the best way, as well as to ensure that your site reaches the maximum number of visitors and sells to as many people as possible. With that in mind, here are some useful tips to follow in designing your website:
Do not use splash pages
Splash pages are the first pages you see when you arrive at a website. They normally contain fancy images with words like “welcome” or “click here to enter”. In fact, they are just that — pretty ornaments with no real purpose. Do not give your visitors a reason to click on the “back” button! Give them the value of your site and what they came to see up front, without the added effort of navigating through a splash page that provides no real function to your website.
Do not use excessive banner advertisements
Even the least net savvy people have trained themselves to ignore banner advertisements, so you will be wasting valuable website real estate. Instead, provide more valuable content such as relevant affiliate links. This helps your visitors feel that they want to buy these products, rather than feel that they are being pushed to do so.
Have a simple and clear navigation
If a user cannot figure out how to navigate your site, they will leave and take their business elsewhere. Providing a straightforward navigation menu and staying away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered drop-down menus helps cater to the abilities of any potential visitor, which increases the chances of them finding out more information and liking your company. It is crucial, therefore, to make sure you have clear directions on the navigation of your website. The navigation menu should be uncluttered and concise, so that visitors know how to navigate around your website without confusion.
Have a clear indication of where the user is
When visitors are browsing your site, you will want to make sure they know which part of the site they are in at that moment. That way, they will be able to browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily. You want to avoid any possible confusion in your visitors because, as mentioned before, confusion generally leads to visitors deciding to abandon ship! A sitemap is often considered redundant in the process of building a website, but a well constructed sitemap can make all the difference between a good and bad website design. A sitemap literally acts as a map of your site: if your visitors browse your site and get lost between its many pages, they can always refer to the sitemap to see where they are, and navigate through your pages with ease.
Avoid using audio on your site
If you want your visitor to stay a long time on your site and become engrossed in reading your content, make sure they’re not annoyed by some audio looping over and over on your website. If you insist on adding audio, a good idea would be to offer the visitor some control over it, such as with volume or muting controls. Imagine if you ran a big site with hundreds of pages and every time a visitor clicks on another page, the background music starts playing again. You could see why this might drive a user away. Moreover, the inclusion of audio adds to the visitor’s burden when viewing your site, by significantly slows down its loading time.
There are many factors to be considered when designing a website. Don’t let your website be less than the best and remember to abide by these rules to help ensure your site runs optimally!