10.30.08 —5 Simple Rules To Website Design
Author Pat Turman
When designing a website you sometimes only have one chance to keep the internet visitor from clicking the back button on their web browser. Whether you are selling a product or offering a service, remember your website design represents your business.
For years, we have been told that when going to an interview you have 10 seconds to make a lasting first impression. There is no difference when designing your website than making the first impression in an interview. You are making a first impression with the internet visitor who has searched for what you are offering in your website design. The first impression can make the difference between in a paying customer or just a visitor to your website.
Here are just 5 simple rules to keep in mind when designing your website.
Rule #1. Limit the use or do not use flashy banners and advertisements at the beginning of you website. There is a time and place for the banners and advertisements.
There is nothing more annoying than clicking on a website to see cartoon characters and advertisements for other products flashing in front of your face. This can be too much for your potential customer. Your customer is there for a purpose and if the blatant advertisements or flashing banners turn them off they may just hit the back button before they find what they are looking for.
The only exception to this rule is determined by the purpose of you website.
Rule #2. Make sure your website design make it easy for the visitor to find the navigation buttons. If a customer has to search for a navigation button to find information about the company or the navigation buttons are not working, the visitor may get frustrated and leave you website.
As a rule of thumb, your navigation buttons should be on the left side of your web page because the majority of people read from left to right. Think about reading a newspaper or a book. You look at the headlines then you read from the left to the right.
Rule #3. When visitors are browsing your site, have a clear indication for the visitor of where they are on your website and how to get to other parts.
You may want to put a link on each page that the visitor clicks to take them to the home page or another page relating to the information currently viewing. In other words do not confuse your visitor or your visitor may just click off the website totally.
Rule #4. When designing your website pay close attention to loading time, the time it takes your web pages to load. You can reduce loading time by reducing graphics on each page. A good website design should load under twenty seconds.
The longer it takes the pages to load the more frustrating it can be to the visitor. People want it yesterday not today and definitely not tomorrow.
Rule #5. Use a font that is common to all web browsers and easy to read. You have to think of your market. If you are selling a product or service that is used by older individuals you may want to increase the font.
Most of us are not going to get younger and with age, we find our eye sights are not what they use to be.
In addition, different web browsers display fonts differently. Therefore, you want to use a universal font compatible to the popular web browser for better viewing.
Bonus Rule #6. Make sure the information on your website is up to date, and relevant to what you are offering. If your website is selling 32", LCD Flat Screen TVs you should not be offering products to repair your driveway. I know that is extreme but people want to know they are visiting a website that has up to date information and is relevant to what they are searching for.
These are just a few rules of website design. There are many other things to adhere to when designing your website for optima visitors.
When designing your website look at it from the customers' or visitors' standpoint. Would you want to visit this website? Would you want to purchase a product from this website? If you answer "no" then correct the problems.
If you deal with customer service, you need to do as they do. Get out from behind the counter and see what the customers see from where they stand. If you go "ugh", that is not good and you need to make some changes.
Originally published in the October 30, 2008 Entireweb Newsletter.