For many people web design is a learn-as-you-go experience. As time goes by careless practices give way to better practices. Things then become a cycle of excitement. The more we succeed the more we push forward to learn. Here are some tips on how to drastically improve your web design.
Make A Page Template That Looks Nice
Take care of the basic framework first. Design or obtain a good template which suits your needs. A template for an online store will not work well for a blog. The template that helps you may include a different style for the front page, the standard page and the blog. Find the template design that helps you and don’t settle for something that you have to stuff your date into. You may want a front page with a side bar that allows you to post a lot of small notices about many events. Many templates now offer nice image slide shows which give you the chance to showcase the major events of your organization.
Make Sure Your Template Is Good For SEO
A search engine scans your site for information that will help it list your site in an appropriate way. The first written text that is found will be what the search engine spider considers the most important. Some templates delay your opening paragraph because a side bar comes first. Find a template that has design features which put your opening paragraph first. A good template design may even allow for a left side bar and still display the center column first. In a sales call the first things you say are the most important. Make sure that your template allows that first paragraph to show up first. List your most important points with the H1 tag while with your sub points use the H2 tag. These things are very important when looking for a template.
Organize The Way You Present Your Information
Present all of your information in an organized way. Some people speak in a rambling way since they get very excited about what they are sharing. You are likely to become very excited about the information you are presenting on your website. You must resist the temptation to ramble or wander in the design of your website. Use your navigation to present a framework for your data. The top-level links should reflect all the information that is the most important. You will probably want the customer to easily find information about these things:
- The company
- The products
- The warranty
- Your Awards
- Special Promotions
- Contact us
Make the most important information the most accessible by making it a top link in the navigation system. Make your product listings flow in the most natural way by grouping all similar products together. Place all technical drawings and warranty information in a link close by each product. Make sure that your menu or navigation system is on each page. The navigation should make things as easy in finding one’s way around your website as it is in navigating a very familiar building or neighborhood.
Be careful of some real traps in web design. Make a nice margin for each page. Some companies and clubs design websites with the content running from the left edge of the monitor screen to the right edge. This is a very big turn off. You don’t need to put all the data on one page. Don’t economize in this matter. Make each page with adequate white space so that the data is pleasant and easy to read. Any savings that come from making “Wall-to-wall” pages or pages that scroll on forever are not worth it.
Optimize Your Content For Faster Loading
Be careful of creating web pages that take a long time to download. Pages with heavy graphics will be “heavy” and will take longer to download. Background graphics make a nice looking page but it is necessary to optimize them properly. Pictures that come from a digital camera have several different uses. Pictures that you intend for printing are of a large size. This is not needed on a web page. It might surprise you to know that resolution required for a print photo is 600 dpi while the same image will look good in a web page if it is only 72 dpi. Photo editing software such as Photoshop, Ulead PhotoImpact and Gimp do a very good job of optimizing images for a web page. This is not a silly point but a real necessity. People tend to leave slow loading web pages. Also, beware of large Flash movies for they also will take a long time to download.
Add Content That Clearly Points To Your Goal
Take some time and effort to write content that leads clearly to your goal. If there is no one in your business that you have faith in for the task you may even decide to consult a professional copywriter. Some people are very wordy in their speech and give lengthy explanations. Avoid this approach in your website content. You do not want potential customers to get lost in a show storm of details. We do not realize that we are much more interested in the multitude of details of our company and its history. The customer just wants to form an opinion on whether this product is the best for him. Tis does not mean that it is inappropriate to have a history of your company. If you do include a history put it farther down in the navigation so that browsers can read it if they chose. Here are some tips for presenting web content:
- Make it ordered and sequential. Don’t mix facts that go with different products.
- Put it in a prioritized order. Make the facts about your product appear in an order that the naturally would if someone had bought them and were moving to the successful use of them. Explain the value of the product step by step. Explain its use step by step.
- Make all information persuasive. Some people get all excited over all the minor details. Have someone guide this process of content writing who understands how an outsider might become excited about the product.
- Play up all the good points. Point to all good news reviews and rewards.
- Keep it real. Do not make unreal claims about your product. Do not set your company up for legal problems or excessive returns by claiming things about product which are just not true.
- Make contact information, contact forms, feedback forms and so forth readily available so that no one needs to search for it.
There are many ways to optimize a webpage for better quality and performance. These are some of the most important. A good web designer will always keep an open eye for new tips on improving her web design.