Whether you’re creating a brand new web page design, or revamping your current site, some of your major objectives are to create an easily navigated web page, a good looking page with a balanced eye-catching composition – in short, a good web page design!
So, how do you measure the attributes of good web page design? There are several schools of thought here, with much depending on your type of business. If your site provides financial information and services, a corporate look may be what you need. If you sell artwork, a dramatic, artistic backdrop may serve your sense of a good web page design. A website featuring designer style products should integrate that designer look and feel. The interior designer might opt for a sophisticated or homey country feel, or whatever style showcases their offerings best. When you think of your website, it’s analogous to a store front or shop window. You want your site to be inviting, encouraging visitors to take a closer look and come inside.
In a nutshell, this is what you’re aiming for in creating a good web page design. If you were going to a stockbroker’s office, you probably wouldn’t expect frilly curtains and window displays of figurines, right? On the other hand, this style of decorating would suit a gift shop nicely. A major signature of a good website design is that it’s appropriate to your business. That first impression is where you can set your visitor’s expectations, for better or worse.
While you want your web page design to be unique and memorable, you’ll still want to conform to certain elements of composition. If you try to be too different, this can be confusing to your visitors.
The basic page layout should include left and right margins, where you can place your navigation menu, newsletter subscription boxes and other such free offers. These are typically placed on the left hand margin, while ads usually appear on the right. The top one quarter of each page, before the ‘fold’ might be occupied with a photo, or perhaps a banner ad, although the latest trend is to run banner ads vertically, in the right margin of the page. Research has shown that the across the top banner ads tend to annoy visitors, as they’re too much in-your-face and lack subtlety. Much like a huge ‘SALE!’ banner plastered across a storefront window, this can invoke a “What, are they going out of business?” response from your visitors. A beautiful photo, along with your company logo at the top left margin, is far more engaging.
If you want to include a search box, put it where people expect to find it – near the top right hand margin and below your photo, artwork or whatever takes up the top quarter of the page.
Keeping your composition and layout within the parameters of the norm is another important signature of good web page design.
The use of Flash is still controversial. While the spiders have learned to deal with Flash displays, there are still some logistical problems that may affect how often and how well the spiders visit that page. With Google searches accounting for the majority, about three-quarters, of all searches, check the Google site for specifics on making those pages Google-friendly.
Aside from the points outlined above, the rest is all art. A good web page design is above all, attractive and functions as it should. This is what keeps your visitors browsing your site, instead of surfing away!