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Understanding Good Web Design Principles

We’ve all heard the line “Don’t judge a book by its cover” ... but let’s get real for a moment.
In the real world everyone judges you (and your business) by the image you project. The same goes for your website.

For many businesses, a website is the first point of contact for potential customers so it’s vital that you make a good first impression.

The three key components of any web design are:

  1. Presentation
  2. Functionality
  3. Usability
Presentation refers to the way your website looks.

Great websites are easy to spot because they:

  • Look clean and professional
  • Make sensible use of colors and graphics
  • Attract the right target market

Bad sites are equally easy to spot, because they:

  • Are difficult to use
  • Make bad use of color combinations and graphics
  • Have text that is too difficult to read
  • Pages that take too long to load
Functionality refers to your website’s ability to give users what they want.

For example, if you wanted to a book an airline ticket online, a site with good functionality would allow you to:

  • Easily view the available flight times
  • Compare pricing options
  • Make a booking with your credit card

A less functional site, would:

  • Not have the ability to check pricing or book flights
  • Contain vague or ambiguous information
  • Have a confusing payment process
And finally, Usability refers to how easy (or difficult) it is to use and navigate your website.
Have you ever visited a site that took too long to load?

A website where the text was too small and you struggled to read it? Or a website where the menu system was confusing to navigate? That’s bad usability in a nutshell.
If you want to create a website that is functional, easy-to-use and quick-to-load, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

DO:

  • Immediately tell visitors what your company does.
  • Allow visitors to find information with a minimum amount of clicks.
  • Keep your menu options clear and simple.
  • Use decent font sizes that are easy to read.
  • Keep sentences short and split paragraphs into chunks.
  • Give your visitors relevant content.
  • Use dark text on light backgrounds.
  • Make liberal use of “white space” as it helps break up the page.
  • Keep your website quick-to-load by using graphics sparingly.
  • Design for your target audience, not your own personal preferences.

DO NOT:

  • Use more than 3 main colors on your site. Try to stick to a consistent color theme across your website.
  • Use multiple font styles, sizes and colors. Stick to the one font style to keep your site looking consistent.
  • Overuse graphic effects, flashy logos or sound effects—they’ll simply distract users from the main message of your site.
  • Use lots of industry buzzwords.
Tag : TIPS
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