Simple Tips to Improve Your Website Design

Author - Tim Weber, GoWebLive.com

As a well-designed website matters a lot to visitors, building it is one of the most important things to accomplish. Having a good, simple, and easy to navigate website always scores credibility points for a business owner. In order to improve the design of your website, there are several key elements that should be evaluated.

First, your web pages should load fast.

First, your web pages should load fast. Keep in mind that not everyone uses a fast internet connection. A great number of Internet users still surf the Internet via dial-up modems. Do not load your site with slow loading banners and images. Use interlaced low-res images that have been optimized for the web. If your website is not done loading in less than 15 seconds, most people will leave it.

Show That You Value Your Visitors’ Time

Providing quick-loading web pages show that you value your visitors’ time. If you really cannot do without music or sounds, turn it off by default and ask visitors to start it themselves. Doing this will prevent your web pages from slow-loading. In addition, many people do not like to be forced to listen to music or sounds while exploring a website because they are already listening to their favorite music.

Besides having to prevent visitors from frustration of waiting for the pages to load, you also need to pay attention to the text size. Be sure the text is big enough to make it easy to read. In addition, the background should not obscure your text. Choose colors very carefully. If you want to be safe, use black text on a white background. This way, someone with a color deficit or using a black and white screen can still read your text clearly.

Clearly Identified Links

Each link should also be clearly identified. Avoid relying on applet or plug-in for navigating around your Webpages. Neatly organized hyperlinks to different pages in your website from home page or any other page will help your visitors to move quickly to their destination.

Some webmasters use Flash to create cool drop-down menus. With Flash, together with Macromedia Fireworks and Dreamweaver, it takes less than a day for an average coder to create professional looking web pages. However, if you take the same route, make sure people can figure out how your Flash menu works.

Cross-browser Compatibility

Cross-browser compatibility is another important factor that may affect the usability of a web site. Not everyone uses Internet Explorer on Windows. Unfortunately there are code that will be displayed differently in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. That means it is wise to prepare your site so it will be viewable in those popular browsers.

Evaluating screen resolutions should also be done with care. A site that looks perfect in high resolution may turn out to be impossible to view correctly in other resolutions. For instance, serif fonts is more comfortable to read on paper, because serifs help individualize each letter. However, this advantage can be rendered useless when the fonts are viewed on computer screens, since factors such as screen resolution can affect the clarity of texts. 

There are many factors that affect the usability and accessibility of a web site. Tools such as WebXACT or Bobby can help you find out how accessible your Website is. If you have a doubt, ask your family and friends for help. Being less familiar with the website, they can help find a lot of things you overlooked.

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