Sunday, April 13, 2008

BLaST Creative Web Design

Here are some more key points that you should take into consideration when designing a web site. A key element to keep in mind is that the most popular web sites are always rich in content.

Stay on task with your subject. Don't try to be all things to all people. It's a good idea to write down the goal of your site before starting any design work. It will help you make designs for the site as a whole. Keep your goal in mind.

Creating a web site can be challenging and fun. The temptation to put as many bells and whistles as you can on a page can be overwhelming. But unless your site is involved with bells and whistles, don't do it! The purpose of designing a site carefully is not to make it look cool or win awards. It's to accomplish the intended goal of the site.

Remember that with anything in life, first impressions count! Think about the message you are sending to your customer. The first page of your web site should be a concise description of the website. Don't make this page too busy, you want to give your visitors the desire to dig deeper into your site through the use of inviting text and interesting graphics. If you are serious about your business, buy your own domain name and don't use a "free" hosting service.

Design sites, not pages. Your primary concern should be the site's overall design. When starting to design a new site from scratch, you should try to create a design that will make sense to users, has a consistent look and feel, and is not to difficult to extend in the future. The consistency of design of a site is one of the factors that differentiate amateur sites from professional ones.

Make it easy to get around your site. Your customer should be able to easily navigate to any page on your web site from any page on your site. It's important to link in a consistent, well thought out manner that users can learn to navigate. Have clear links to your pages and, if you are selling a product, make it easy for people to buy it! Make sure that your contact page can be reached from every page. Invite customers to contact you with their questions or comments. Add links to other sites only if it’s necessary, or on a special links page at the end of your site. You want visitors to go through your site before surfing off to another!

View your site through the eyes of a stranger. Once you have completed your site outline, view it in other browsers. Does it look like you wanted it to look?
Don't forget to tell the world about your new site. Make sure that your URL is on all your company business cards, letter heads, brochures, phone systems, etc. Swap links with other related web sites and consider banner advertising. List your site with the major search engines, but read their rules of submission first!

Keep your site current. Come up with a reason for people to visit and revisit your pages and recommend them to their friends. Blogs are a really good way to keep your content relevant. Other words most likely to attract visitors are: Free and Special. Be sure you offer something of value if you use these words!

Survey says... Ask users about your site. Create a survey and give a reward for responding. Ask friends to check out the site, and then grill them on what they thought about it. This can be valuable input on what improvements are needed. Often, things a designer might never see as a problem can throw users. Don't ever stop looking for ways to improve your website. Subscribe to professional E-zines, and keep surfing the web doing market research. What are your competitors doing better? Ask for feedback from your friends, relatives and customers. They will often see things with fresh eyes.

1 comment:

Pro Evo Geek Smudge said...

i like the post you have on thinking twice about your website and not to worry about the bells and whistles. Very good. I like creative work and like what you have done so ill be linking to you on my creative seo site if thats coolio?

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