There is quite a bit that is involved in web design. If you are not prepared, dealing with all the minutiae can be quite daunting. Allow these tips to help you become better prepared to face the challenge.
Avoid using so-called “mystery meat navigation”. This involves using unlabeled images or other elements for the site’s navigation. In many cases, the visitor has to mouse over the buttons to even see what they do. Navigation is best kept simple. Use text links across the top or along the left side of the page.
Don’t force users to install strange BHOs. Many tech-savvy users won’t do it. Common offenders include unusual video players, image viewers, and platforms for interactive games. For most standard use cases, there is a trusted plugin, such as Windows Media Player or even Flash) that will do what you want without driving away users.
Test your site to see if the major translation services work properly when translating your site. Some sites receive many international visitors, and these visitors sometimes use services like BabelFish and Google Translate to translate the text to their language. Certain web design problems, especially poor server side code, can break these services.
If your site users will be registering to use your site, you should use their personal information to auto-fill forms. Save users’ information like registration data, so it doesn’t have to be entered more than once on different forms. This kind of “sticky” information saves your users time and effort, and they will likely appreciate the streamlining this kind of good design provides.
If you want your site visitors to spend as much time as possible on your site, make text easy to read. One of the most common design mistakes is using graphic backgrounds with patterns or dark colors; combine this with equally dark text and you have a recipe for disaster. Unless the text is clear and easy to read, your site will not be a success.
To help your web pages load quickly, you should compress all the images on the website page. If you have images that are compressed then pages will load much faster. Nothing is more frustrating to viewers than waiting for a 250k graphic to load when it should really only be 20k.
Is the content on your site fun and interesting? The appearance of the site design is crucial, but content keeps visitors coming back. Visitors will come back over and over when you provide content that is of value to them.
One thing you should always take into account when you’re thinking about web design is the latest technology that is out today. As technology advances to does the web, so be sure you are always up to date with what is changing so that you’re that much more understanding of how the web works.
If you are not feeling confident in any area at all when you’re designing a website then go ahead and ask for help from someone. You can either find help from a friend or from strangers on places like forums on the web. Just be sure you don’t tackle anything without knowing what you’re doing first.
Use custom error pages to make your site more informative. For instance, if you want people to report dead links on your site, either put a server-side script on your 404 page or have a form or email address that visitors can use to report the error. You should have custom pages for 403, 404, and 500 errors, at the very least.
Create a scalable and reliable website. As technology advances and monitors keep changing, you can’t test your site across all platforms and screen sizes. Make sure the design, hosting, and code is scalable. Do this by making sure it’s error-free and making the loading smooth. This helps you create a good design that works for many circumstances.
Make sure you have enough details on your company page to allow your visitors to know more about who you are and what you can offer them. Often, a website will contain a boring, half thought-out page to cover this. This is an opportunity to make your website stand out. Give people a glimpse into who you are and why you love web design. Let them know what has inspired you and what your goals are.
Your focus after reading this article should be understanding the fundamental basics of web design. When you have these ideas at the ready, you can start creating great websites. Come back and read these tips over again if you run into trouble.