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Monthly Archives: February 2017

How to Ensure You Get A Great Web Design?

It is with a great web design that you will be able to create a good impression on your site’s visitors. In fact, the success of your website is greatly dependent on how it attracts visitors and how much user friendly it is. It is not enough to just drop and drag pictures for an effective web design, lots of thought and forethought is required to get the perfect design for your website.

The most important point to consider when creating your web design is the concept of your site and what you intend to propagate through the website. All this has to be done before you actually start working on your web design. If your website is to be a personal website, consider how you intend to show your personality and style; and if it is a commercial website, choose the design depending on how you intend to broadcast your products and services. With a lot of forethought, you will be able to choose the right theme for the website, and save lots of headaches.

Use positive points of other websites in your web design

Research to find out what other websites with similar objectives look like and you will get ideas for your web design. Look at websites and keep its positive and negative points in mind so that you can eliminate the negative but use the positive points in your web design.

Once you get an idea of what your web design is to look like, you will have to plan your site. Do this by drawing a sitemap to see how you want your site to work, and which links you intend to use so that the site works as you wish it to work. You save lots of time this way, and give you an idea of your future website.

When creating your web design, remember that it has to be user friendly to be successful on the internet. Lay the site in as clear and a logical manner as possible to ensure that your site is easy to navigate.

Minimum images in the web design facilitate faster downloading of web pages.

If you use tables in your web design, it is better to break your page into a minimum of two tables instead of using a single table. This is because a single table takes longer to download; moreover with two tables, you can have an introduction to your web page in the first table so that visitors don’t get impatient with a long wait.

Use minimum images on your web page where each page should be limited to 30kb including text, images and background images but devoid of plug-ins. This ensures that visitors need not wait more than 5 seconds for the page to load. Use navigation bars in your web design to help visitors know where they are in your website.

Last, but not least, don’t forget to use Meta tags in your web design as they are recognized by search engines and help in bringing more hits to your website. However, your description should be short and concise and not loaded with keywords to ensure that you have a successful web design.

 

Web Design Flow

The concept of flow was first introduced (academically) by a psychologist named Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He said there is a state of concentration that can be achieved when attention, motivation and situation are all optimised which come together to result in a large amount of productive effort. The concept of flow is very similar to modern sayings such as “in the zone” or “on a roll”.

Getting people into this mental state on a website you are designing is important as it will allow the user to look at your entire site and pick up whatever information you are offering and lead to a more likely conversion whether that be a sale, enquiry or just lasting visit.

Putting flow inside web design is all about making things as easy as possible for a visitor or potential customer and this can be looked at in several ways, goals, efficiency, feedback and discovery.

Goals

The first concept of goals is critically important for all websites and especially for retail. The flow of your site should take your user through relevant information and to your goal so deciding what that is should be your first step. After you have decided this you need to set up smaller goals for the user on each page. This could be something as simple as choosing whether to tick a box or as complicated as entering their payment details as long as the goal is clear the flow will be maintained.

Be sure to choose the correct copy for instructions, it should be clear what the person has to do but its easy to come off as sarcastic or condescending when giving orders so make it as friendly as possible. Also I recommend you keep a steady style throughout your copy instead of dotting in and out of formality.

Efficiency

Efficiency is also very important in a sites design. Incorporating basic navigation and optimising your sites performance will keep users from becoming bored with menial tasks such as click through and looking for the right page. As you may already know it’s wise to minimise the pages a user has to go through to complete the goal, modern web users get bored and click away very quickly if they have to go through 10 pages of terms before they even start a task.

A good example of efficiency in a page is expandable sections for people to read. Many modern websites use such functions (including Firebox and Dixons). These enable you to have the information ready for an interested user to view but hidden from a user who is not bothered. They could be customer reviews, related accessories, external links or related pages on your site.

Navigation should also be optimised for efficiency. Tajke a look at Amazon and Play’s sites. They have a massive amount of products and category pages yet they manage to successfully classify it into sectors and sub categories all of which look the same so users will know where to look immediately.

Feedback

It’s important for someone’s flow that they are encouraged, reassured and informed of their situation and success at reaching goals.

If you neglect to provide a user with feedback at some point they will begin to loose interest as the goal no longer seems relevant. The best way to give feedback to a user is to keep them up-to-date on their progress. A great example of this is percentage completion counters on video games. Very often when saving or loading a game you will be informed of how many % you have currently completed, very effective as a focus individual will always aim for 100%. You can do the same thing with forms on your site.

Discovery

Once a user has achieved the goals you have set them via maximum efficiency then they are going to want new goals and information or again their concentration and flow will be broken. This has become a well targeting area in web 2.0 and many sites have product or information boxes contain “related products” or “latest news about this tag”.

You must have new content for users to find and interact with or you will see negative effects on returning visitors and your site will eventually dry out.

Conclusion

There is a lot of work involved in designing for flow but it’s a compulsory step in your design process. The best test you can do is to see how fast someone who has not been involved with a site build how easy it is to navigate or what the goals of each specific page are. If they give you positive feedback it’s likely your site is accessible in a flow type way.

 

Web Site Design Rule

Do Not Use Splash Pages

Splash pages are the first page you would see when you hit a web site. They tend to have a nice picture or photo with the words, “Welcome” or “Click Here To Enter.” They may look attractive, but functionally, they are empty and a waste. The search engines are looking for solid content on your index page and a splash page doesn’t cut the mustard. It also gives your visitors a prime oppotunity to click away. Make that first impression count!

Do Not Use Excession Banner Ads

People have trained themselves to avoid making eye contact with banner ads. If you are advertising on your site, the best advertising to do is in-context link ads. It’s more of a pre-sell than a hard sell and will make all the difference.

Create A Simple And Clean Navigation

The simpler, the better. People are coming to your web site for information. They want the solution to their problem answered and want to find it quickly. Avoid flash and drop-down menus. Keep it simple, easy to navigate and easy to get back. A visitor should never, ever be more than 3 clicks away from your Home page.

Have A Clear Indication Of Where Your Visitor Is

As in point 3, it is essential that your visitors feel as if they are in total control of their browsing experience. Always make sure they know exacly where they are and how to get to wherever they want to be. Clear links, site maps, etc are important. If they get lost, they may just abandon ship!

Avoid Using Audio On The Web Site

Background audio and sounds that start automatically when someone enters your site is a killer. Don’t do it! Many people get annouyed with something that they can’t control. Some people tend to browse at work. If you do feel you need to use audio, put it in a control that the visitor has to push a play button to start and stop.

Filenames And URLs in a Website

FILE NAMING

The maximum length of the filename, valid characters and punctuation, and sensitivity to uppercase and lowercase letters all very among operating syste as described.

Case Sensitivity

If you have an image file named picture gift, for example, and you reference that file as the image will display properly on a Macintosh or windows machine.On a UNILX server, however, the image will not load properly windows machine.On a UNLX machine, picture, gif and picture gif are two different files. It is best always to use lowercase letter for all filenames Remember to use lowercase letters in filenames in your HTML.Code as well.

Character Exceptions

Character use also is incompatible between operating systems. For example the filename my stuff.htm is valid on a PC or Macintosh,but not on a UNIX machine because of the space in the filename.If you transfer a web site containing my styff.htm to a UNIX server, the links to the file will not work.

File extensions

Use the correct file extension to identify your file to browser.HTML text files must end in.html or .html. Be careful to add this extension when you are working in Notepad, which defaultsto saving .As you also must correctly specify image file formats in the file extensions.

Solving the filename Dilemma

The best way to overcome the restrictions of case sensitivity, character exceptions, and file extensions is to use the convention specified by the international standards organization for all your files.This convention specifies a maximum of eight letters followed by a period and three-Letter extensions. Allowed characters are letters, numbers,and the under- three-letter file extension if you use the 8.3 file naming convention on your development system, you will have little or no file name problems when you transfer your filed to the Web design server, regardless of the server’s operating system. By sticking with this filename format, you ensure that your files will be portable across the greatest number of operating systems. Do not forget to use lowercase characters, and omit special characters from your filenames to ensure compatibility.

URL USAGE

Although you may know that URLs are the addresses you type into your browser to access a site,you may not realize that there are two type of URLs:-complete and partial.