5 Web Design Tips and Guidelines That You Should Know
A website can easily be referred to as the representation of a company or a person on the Internet. It is through a website that people will get the first impression about a firm. And when people visit your website, they come with certain expectations – conscious expectations (information they are looking for) and sub-conscious expectations (visual appeal, ease of navigation etc). So, here are some tips and guidelines that will help you meet such expectations:
1)Know your audience
There are two aspects that are influenced by this guideline- the design (including the layout, graphics, colours etc) and the content (articles and other written material). For example, if you are designing a website for children, you might choose cartoons and a colourful impression instead of a more serene look that is better fit for corporate websites. Similarly, the style, tone and examples used in your content will be dependent on type of audience too.
Ok, so you have done the audience analysis and have all the right content and graphics etc on your website; but if people (your website visitors) are not able to reach that information easily, it would be of no use at all. Hence, it is very important that your website is easy to navigate through. No page should be more than three clicks away. Also, there should be a consistent pattern that you should follow for navigation across your website. Another good practice is to have a navigation bar on the top (and bottom) or on the sides of your web pages.
In today’s fast paced world, people don’t want to wait for anything and it would be unreasonable to expect them to wait for your website to load. Hence, it is important that your web pages load quickly otherwise your visitors might go away even before your website loads. A good web designer will ensure that the graphics and multi-media are lightweight so that the website loads quickly. However, with faster internet connections, this aspect of web design has assumed a lesser importance than what it used to be in previous times; but still, this is a very important aspect.
4)Cross browser compatibility
As technology progresses and technology providers wrestle for supremacy, new software products (and upgrades) are being launched all the time. And browsers haven’t been left out in this race for power. This means that there are a whole lot of browsers that are available and are being used across the world by various groups of people; and, though most browsers comply with W3C norms, they still do their own thing too. So, your website could look and work differently in different browsers. Hence, cross browser compatibility is a very important aspect of website designing. A good way to ensure that most of your stuff works across browsers is to validate your website using the W3C mark-up validation service.
Your website design should be consistent in all respects – layout of various web pages, the colour combinations, graphics, navigation, language etc. Most people will take the cue from what they see on your home page (or your main page). Inconsistent website design will confuse your visitors and will lead them away from your website.
If you follow these 5 basic tips / guidelines, you can never go wrong with your web design. So, make the best use of these guidelines.
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