To have a good website that is, functional, web design must make it easier for visitors to interact with the site’s pages. The habits of visitors on the net are almost the same as those of visitors to a real store: take a look at each page, read some text and click on a link that attracts their attention. This means that, as a rule, a large part of the web page is not taken into account; that is why there are important things that a web designer should keep in mind when creating a website.
Home: this decides the fate of the whole site. A well-thought-out homepage should give visitors an idea of what they can expect to find on the site. It informs visitors about the content of the site and gives them the main navigation menu. I know many of you will definitely want a flash banner on the front page; it is not indicated at all (because this type of content – flash – is not displayed by most mobile devices nor can it be indexed by Google) but, if you really want to, still offer visitors the opportunity to skip it, via a visible link, positioned above the flash banner.
Hot spots: Internet users are always in a hurry or impatient and do not read everything. They will “scan” some fixed points on the page that – they think – can guide them through the content of the page. Therefore, the site designer must know what those fixed points are and design the page design respecting the fixed points’ position.
Consistency of navigation: in a web page, there are several places where visitors are accustomed to finding the navigation menu. Well, that’s exactly where these menus should be put, don’t try anything else. In a multi-page site, visitors should be able to move easily from one page to another; if you force them to learn the navigation menu’s position, they will have a feeling of discomfort and will go to other sites.
Font size: The fonts used to create a website should be easy to read and effortless. It seems that the optimal size of the main font is somewhere around 12-13 points. An extra point is the sites that offer visitors the ability to adjust the font size.
Image format: what should you use? GIF or JPG? For images that contain only plain text and colors, you can use GIFs. For complex images, with gradients and fine color variations, JPG is needed. For images that require a transparent background, you must use PNG (8-bit for simple images or 24-bit for complex images). In web design, the correct selection of image formats will improve the site both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Upload speed: if the site does not load quickly, you will lose visitors, for the reason we talked about above – Internet users are not patient because they do not need to be. Half of visitors expect a page to be loaded in less than 2 (two) seconds; 79 percent of online store visitors not happy with the site’s output will never return to that store. You should therefore reduce the loading speed of the site as much as possible without compromising quality. A good average page load time is a maximum of 3-4 seconds.
Test before you publish: Your site will make a strong impression on you and your company, and your potential customers entering the site must have a pleasant browsing experience. Before publishing your website, make sure that you don’t have dead links (which lead nowhere and return to the 404 error page) or pages “under construction” or messages “coming soon.”
Website creation through functional web design
There are now a lot of programs on the market that can “make” anyone a web designer. Almost anyone with no design sense and no knowledge of HTML or CSS can create a functional and somewhat attractive website. But is that site unique? not at all. All those programs provide “templates” – design available to anyone. So if you really want a good site, it has to be unique. Starting from this idea, I present below some principles for creative web design.
1. Do not use templates
It’s tempting to use them because it’s comfortable and looks good. But if you want a website that sets you apart from the competition and the rest of the world in general, it has to be original. Even if you start from a template, know that it can be modified in the smallest details.
2. Don’t mix things (and technologies)
“Designers” who have no idea what a website design means tend to use all the “shiny” things that fall into their hands, and thus you will find yourself with a site that is hard to navigate, hard to read, and ugly. You don’t need to use all kinds of effects on the site, most of the time less means more. Limit yourself to effective design elements because thanks to them, you will have satisfied visitors to your site.
3. Pay attention to the “fold” (the fold)
“Above the fold” is a term borrowed from the print media and refers to the newspaper that is bent on the stall; the visible content is the one above the fold, being thus important for the most interesting topics to be presented on that surface of the newspaper. Well, this principle works similarly on a website. You need to “hook” the visitor with headlines, summaries, and exceptional images positioned right at your site’s top. You have to make it roll down.
4. Provides fast navigation
Internet users have no patience; will the information NOW. Consequently, your site must be easy, very easy to navigate; a visitor does not have to give more than two or three clicks to get where he wants.
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