The basic goal for any web designer, is to produce an appealing, functional and easy to access website that has the potential to persuade visitors to do something. To achieve this, and for a website to reach its full potential as your best marketing tool, you’ll need to know how to implement good graphic design, how to set-up an intuitive site architecture, combined with sound web copy and a logical layout of your web pages. For this, the Web Design Guidelines must be known.
The idea behind publishing credible content to your website is to gain the trust and respect of your audience, and to be known as a trusted authority. Spelling and grammar errors will immediately destroy your credibility. A key component to remember is that, people visit websites primarily to learn and gather information. If you are to have any hope of selling your products and services, you’ll need to first showcase your expertise by providing thoroughly informative information.
Cross Browser Compatibility
Currently, there are more than one hundred browsers that people use to access websites. Accordingly, you must ensure that you have cross browser compatibility firmly in mind. In order to make that happen, you may need to sacrifice implementing some of the neat design or functional features, given that some of the features may not yet be supported across all web browsers.
You must remember that, most of your visitors will access the Internet via various methods, whether it be from their laptop, PC, MAC or mobile phone, all of which devices use different browsers. Making recommendations to your web design clients, to upgrade to the latest browser version, as well as validating your HTML code, will also help in reducing cross browser compatibility issues. Make sure you always test your website in the latest and popular browsers to make sure everything looks and works the way you intend.
Graphics and Photos
Studies have revealed that, if a webpage takes more than 10 seconds to fully load, the visitor will leave. In order to assist with faster loading speeds try and optimize your graphics and photos so they are smaller in size as long as it fits in with the style of the website. Remember to use height and width attributes when optimizing an image. Always try and use ALT HTML tags, so when people are using hand held and mobile devices, they can still identify the image.
If you happen to be using a background color under text that is not white, make sure you specify the link colors otherwise, because if you don’t, it can make the browser render the links unreadable.
Generally, multimedia is made up of audio clips, movies, music and other flash elements. If you use streamline media, this will reduce the page download time. Give the visitor the option to stop and start the media file, or to skip it altogether. You can also consider embedding text information into the multimedia so the visitor has the option to read information instead of playing the multimedia.
Menu and Navigation
The navigation of any website needs to be intuitive and simple. Typically, if a website visitor is not able to access their required information within 3 clicks, (referred to as the 3 click rule) they will likely move onto another website.
Efficient website usability can be achieved only when good planning and common sense is applied. Websites you are building should be easy on the eye, as well as to provide your visitors with the information they require.
Today’s Writer: Matt Fuller is a website design consultant, and works for Website Hotline.