June 16, 2015
The first thing people usually notice when they visit a website is how well it is designed. Like actual first impressions, this is the time to not deter people away because of a poor design. These tips may help you prevent this.
Don’t neglect cascading style sheets. Using a style sheet makes it easy to give all pages of your site the same look and feel. It also reduces the file size of your pages, as the CSS file can be accessed once on the server and then from the user’s local cache thereafter.
Make sure your text and background has the proper contrast. There’s evidence showing that white text on a black background is easiest for most people to read, but other colors are fine so long as they’re readable. Also keep in mind that people with visual impairments may not be able to read your site if the contrast is poor. Check to see if your site complies with various contrast standards using the tool at http://snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html .
Always mark files that must be opened in an external program with an icon. Many sites host PDF files, and less commonly, DOC files, that must be opened in Foxit Reader and Microsoft Word/OpenOffice, respectively. These files should be marked with an icon representing the file type, and a link to download the appropriate viewer if the user does not have it.
Let users cancel actions if they desire. This could be anything from filling out forms to registering for email newsletters. If you do not give your users the option to cancel something, then you are making them do something, which can cause users to be leery of making future purchases or coming back to your website at all.
Use a tracking service, rather than displaying your visitor counter for all to read. Many websites still display their counters, yet they do not serve any real purpose. There are many high quality tracking services available, and some are even free. Use these instead of showing off how many people visit you.
Do not use many different font types when creating your website. Also, think about how fonts look on a screen. For instance, tiny serif fonts, like Times New Roman, are difficult to read. The most widely-used font is Verdana since it’s appealing to almost everyone.
Avoid using animated GIFs on your site. These were popular in the late 1990s, but newer technologies have replaced the uses for animated GIFs that were actually useful. Animated GIFs are low in quality and large in file size. Use static icons for page elements and actual video files for complex animations.
Try designing for all screen resolutions. A simple website can always encourage visitors to remain and read the content. If your site doesn’t look good for a specific resolution, the visitor may leave since they cannot view it. Designing a stretchier layout that fits any screen resolution lets you know that all visitors can enjoy the content.
Since people see a website’s design as soon as they get on the site, it is important to make yours fabulous. It’s best to make their first impression a good one. The tips provided here should help you deliver the type of web design that engages and keeps visitors.