CAT | Web Design Tips and Tricks
In one of the earlier blogs, we had given the don’ts – the pitfalls to be avoided by a successful web designer. In this blog, we suggest the do’s – the imperatives to be followed for successful web designing. Adhering to the following tips can ensure a good web page design:
- Text: Background and text should not mix with each other – there should be a distinctive shade difference between the two; at the same time, care should be taken that the two shades do no clash with each other. Similarly, the size of the text should be conducive to comfortable reading. There should be a logical flow in the narratives.
- Navigation: Navigation buttons and bars should be easy to comprehend. Use consistent navigation symbols throughout the website.
- Links: The colors given to the links should match up with the page colors. Links should be underlined or otherwise differentiated (underlining is the best and most common method) to get instant attention of the surfer.
- Graphics: Buttons used in website should not be too big. All the graphics should have an alt label. There should be a matching text link for every graphic link. Use browser-safe colors for graphics and backgrounds.
- Tables: Table borders should be always turned on. This makes it easier to read and comprehend.
An out-standing web designer is one who understands that all the elements in a web page should be readable and make sense. He makes appropriate use of web elements such as text, background, links, graphics, etc., in order to impart a smooth and pleasing look to the website and improve the ease of usage. Some of the pitfalls which a successful web designer needs to watch out for and avoid in various ingredients of a web page are:
- Backgrounds: Inappropriate color combinations make the text difficult to read. Hectic and distracting backgrounds put off visitors and lead to loss of potential sales.
- Text: Text size that is too small to read is a sign of bad design. Too large text and the designer may end up taking too much space on the web page, giving an impression of cramming. Text crowding, text widening and excessive use of capital, block or italic letters are other aspects which should be avoided.
- Links: Links to useless or out-dated pages give an impression of carelessness or incompetence on the part of the designer. Similarly, links that are not properly marked can defeat their purpose, since the visitor may not be able to identify and, thereby, access them.
- Graphics: Use of large graphic files should be avoided, since they take a long time to load. Thumbnail images should be just that – they should not be as big as the full-sized images. As far as possible, label all pictures presented on the web page.
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FACTORS TO BE KEPT IN MIND DURING WEB DESIGN
Web design involves the overall layout of the website, which not only lists the products and services on offer, but also impacts the impression of the company on any prospective business partner. Hence, the following factors need to be kept in mind which designing an effective website:
- Websites are not meant merely for broadcast of information – they also promote online commerce.
- The web design should be such that it is able to express the message that the company wishes to deliver to its visitors – be they casual surfers or potential customers or investors.
- Web design should be tailored to suit specific business requirements.
- A classy and professional look and feel to the website is always helpful in attracting customers.
- The design of a website should be in accordance with the type of business being promoted through the site.
Web Designer vs. Developer
Though web designers and developers differ in their responsibilities, both work for the same objective –to make a successful website. While the web designer handles the display of the website, the developer’s role is to make the site functionally effective. Web designers need to be proficient in graphic design tools in order to transfer their designs onto the web pages.
Typically, a web designer is responsible for: a) the appearance of the website, b) the layout of the content in the website, c) the graphics and animations present in the website. Thus, the web designer needs to work more with the designing aspects of website design – so (s)he has to be proficient in the software related to this.
Web developers add the functionalities to the website and develop the features and options for handling user interactions. Moreover, they are responsible for testing the relevance and usefulness of the website.
From the above, it is clear that web designers and developers should work in close conjunction in order to create a successful web design. While the web designers help in attracting and retaining visitors, the viewer experience, decision-making and the transaction-handling are majorly the responsibilities of the developer.
WEB DESIGN – THE LATEST TRENDS
The differences between web design and development is increasingly getting blurred. The average web designer now requires more than just flashy designs. The focus of web designers has shifted from plain looks; it encompasses the content and the matter provided on the page as well. The basic requirements for an effective web designer now include superior and relevant subject matter, apart from agreeable designs.
In order to remain germane, a web designer needs to understand the prospective user’s interaction with the website. The ultimate goal of a web designer is to hold on to visitors’ interest sufficiently to induce him/her to conclude the transaction.
An effective web designer is one who is able to create a web design which captivates the user. The major features which the web designer should concentrate on are a pleasant color scheme, perceptive design, easy access to information, relevance of the information provided, quick response time and uncomplicated readability.
The above have become a necessity for every successful web design, especially in today’s world where dime-a-dozen similar websites are available at the click of a button.
POINTERS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL WEB DESIGNER
Web designers need to keep in mind the main objective of the business for which the site is designed. The main function of E-commerce website design is selling products and services. Shoppers visit various websites and stay on only if the Web designer has ensured that the content is relevant and the web design is attractive. The decision to buy comes next.
How to retain a visitor to your webpage?
Web designers need Focus to retain visitors. Too much clutter puts off the visitor – (s)he may feel – “Wow”, what a great display, but would not have the patience to view the entire range offered.
The next thing web designers need to keep in mind is Simplicity in the page design. It pays to draw attention to a single product per page.
Web designers should Concentrate on only one product per page – similar products should be given links in the category page – not on the product page.
The above would ensure that the visitor stays on the page and gravitates to a buying decision, which is what web designers aim to achieve.
Make a balanced use of Graphic images
Graphic images are very attractive part of website that easily captures visitor’s attention. It is very important for web designers to make the balanced and proper use of graphic images. They should not make the overuse of them. Sometimes web designers in an effort of making more attractive web pages tend to focus on look and forget about WebPages functionality. This should not happen because even if your web pages are very attractive looking but lack in its functionality then it is not of any worth.
Graphics in web pages have to serve a function. Number of graphic design images in your website is directly proportional to time required for downloading your web pages. More graphic images in your website means more download time. Your prospective customers may be lost if they find your website very slow. Some types of graphic images that are suitable on a web page like navigation buttons and image maps should be used and designed smartly:
Navigation buttons - These are used to assist your visitors navigate through your web site. These navigation buttons must be elegant and easy to read.
Image maps – These are used to facilitate visitors navigate your web site and add the visual appeal. But if design is not proper they may increase download time of your web pages.
Website self maintenance
For a website development, there are mainly two choices we have, the first one is to build and maintain a website by our own and the second one is to hire a Professional web designer and development services to do everything for you. The problem with the first option is that we may lack certain skills and experience to build a perfect website. While the second option may make us feel powerless to manage our own site.
Most of the people now prefer to go with professional web development companies who would setup their website and would let them maintain all other parts of their website. This is identified as “self maintenance.”
What self maintenance can do?
The rationale behind self maintenance is to make the user capable of managing a job that is beyond his ability. The tasks involved in the self maintenance can be simplest functions like simple text changes, new web page, page templates for positioning graphics and switching. On the more sophisticated level, it can involve updating entry fields for instance prices on an Ecommerce site, implementing existing customer databases to work with search functions on a site and setting up authorized or password-protected areas for customer or key people.
Online Business websites
Building a successful business calls for appropriate methods that can effectively present your business to your customers. The best way to get more customers for your business is to develop your online business website. Having a business website is now a day’s very necessary to stand in the competitive market. This would give you more customers and also will reduce your efforts to grow your business.
Traditional techniques for growth and expansion of business requires huge amount of capital. Also the marketing of business traditionally consumes more efforts and cost. Whereas expanding your business online is very easy and requires less capital. Marketing on the internet is very simple and there are number of marketing tools available for online marketing.
Business websites are a first step for your business to target the huge online market and internet marketing is a weapon to target your potential customers. Internet marketing increases traffic to your website thus making the possibility of purchasing your product or services. But one thing should be kept in mind; if you are getting more traffic to your website then it doesn’t mean that you will get more customers. For making your visitors stay on your website there are various essential factors that needs to be given utmost attention. The most crucial factor is the content of your website. Other important factors are
- Design of your website
- Simplicity of your website
- Your website accessibility
- Graphics used in your website
- Functionality of your website
- Scanability of your website
There are many other factors required for building your online presence. If you want to develop a powerful online business website then you can take the help of some companies who provides professional web development services. Such companies take care of all the necessary factors like web design, graphic design, website functionality, appearance of a website, etc.
The Google Sitemaps are used to inform search engines about the available URLs on a website for indexing. This helps the website owner to achieve better search engine optimization. The Google sitemaps are XML files that list the existing URLs on a site. XML file is used as a standard for WebCrawler’s to search and parse sitemaps. Webmasters can add information about each URL; the information may be such as when it was last updated and its significance in the perspective of the site. A site map can be a document in any form or a web page that lists the pages of a web site normally ordered in hierarchical way. These are accessible to crawlers or users. A site map page or a document helps visitors and search engine bots locate pages on the website. A site map presents a general top-down view of the all the site contents.