Tips & Advice for Good Design
All websites are not created equal. It's a shame, but there are simply too many nonfunctional, ugly sites out there. Why?
Once you know some of the things to look for — mistakes, sloppy web design and poor functionality will jump out at you. If you don't yet have a website, consider these tips. If you already have a site, and feel you've violated some of these concepts, perhaps it's time to consider a re-design. If you have questions or if you'd like to consider having us design your website, please contact us.
MistakesProof read for errors
It's amazing how many websites have huge numbers of typos and errors. Proof read all your text and content. Don't forget that your web site is a reflection of you and your business
Proof read for accuracy
Is your contact information listed correctly? Are all your services listed accurately with up-to-date information? Your website is simply the online portion of your business. Would you give out your business card with the wrong telephone number? Of course not. Pay the same attention to the content on your website.
Sloppy Web DesignConsistant Design
Your site should have a similar theme throughout its entire design to give it a unified feel. If it's not clear that each page of your site belongs to your business, your visitors may leave your site.
Don’t choose moving graphics and fancy features over the functionality of your site. These things can cause your site to load slowly. If your website is slow, customers will leave before they ever see the fancy graphics. Optimize your website's graphics and code so that it loads quickly.
Your website is part of your business, and it should reflect your personality and the way you do business. You don’t need to recreate the wheel, simply be yourself online. A website that engages, informs and entertains will benefit your business.
Your site has to be organized. Remember your primary goal: help your customers find the information and products they need. If they can’t find it on your site, they’ll likely go elsewhere.
A well-planned website will serve your customers better and help you achieve your business goals. You’ve spent time creating your business, why not spend time on your website? Invest time in the planning of your website and it will pay off.
Keep your message simple and clear. Visitors don't like to read too much information. Your customers have to understand what your point is — quickly. If your site is content-heavy and you do a lot of writing on your site, be direct and to the point. Don’t forget to leave plenty of white space. Crowding images and text together will give your site a noisy, confusing feel. White space directs the eye where it needs to go.
Your website has to have a purpose, and the way to convey your purpose is through content. Content is the backbone of your website. Every bit of content should relate to the primary purpose of your business. If your business is to review movies, then anything non-movie oriented should be left out. If you’re trying to inform people about the travel industry, then you shouldn't talk about lawnmowers. Use short sentences, bulleted lists and descriptive subheadings so that your content is scan-able.
In addition, update your site and your content regularly. Don't put something up and leave it there for years. Make your copy interesting to read, almost story-like, all the time generating enthusiasm for your product or service. Find ways to place facts in your copy without sounding like an encyclopedia. The trick is to convey the information, while making it interesting to read.
Depending on the nature of your site, don't talk about yourself. Readers don't care what you like, what you did or what you think unless your site is a personal reference guide. They want to know how your products or services will benefit them.
An unfortunate misconception about websites is that customer service is not a requirement. Think again. Putting your business online simply means that you've created another channel of contact with your customers. They're going to expect answers to their questions and replies to their e-mails.
You probably won’t have to look too far for a website that hasn't been updated in the past year or more. Did that business or organization seem more or less professional to you?
Update your site regularly. Make sure all your content is fresh. You may think that you have too much content for the average visitor, but few people will be interested in reading it all. If someone visits your site, finds good information and enjoys it, they will likely come back again. But if nothing changes, your visitor is less likely to return. Once you stop staying on top of your site, so will your visitors.
Your website needs to have a purpose. Keep its purpose in mind before you create the site. Is it:
Informational: An information resource.
Service-oriented: Offers a service or product
Personal/entertainment: Keep visitors engaged through articles and stories.