Rational Approaches Toward the Design a Site

Rational Approaches Toward the Design a Site

Rational Approaches Toward the Design a Site - Basic Components of Web DesignDesigning a site aims to deliver the content to end user in an organized and attractive way. The content may be hypertext or hypermedia that is accessed by end user through a web browser. Web designing involve use of documents, sounds and images. There are interactive websites that use several advanced applications.

Designing a website integrates several disciplines. Information technology, marketing, communication design and information system are few of them. Designing components of a website may be broadly classified into back-end and front-end categories. The content that is observed on a site is called front end content. This includes text, graphics, audio, page layout and user interface of a site. Server side components, scripts and source codes of web designing form the back-end components.

Irrespective of the size and nature of the site, there are some basic points that should be followed while developing a site design.

Building a brand

It is very important to make your website a bit different. This makes a visitor curious about the site. Create a logo that reflects objectives of the site. Try to place it at the top left position of homepage or central position of every page. Complement it with a tagline that aptly reflects purpose of the site. “Think Different” is the famous tagline of Apple Inc.

Make sure common sections like “About us” or “Contact us” are displayed properly on homepage so that a visitor can easily access them. These sections should provide brief description of the brand and provide contact details of company.

Creating a “favicon” helps in getting noticed and building first impression about a site. Favicon is the cute little graphic appearing next to URL in the address bar. Searching bookmarks, identifying a site among multiple tabs is simplified by use of favicon.

Try to maintain a consistent feel and look throughout the site. Layout, graphics and color scheme used for different pages should amply reflect the mood and purpose of your site. Websites that are designed for children have a different color schemes than those sites that sell jewelry online.

Ensuring smooth navigation

While designing your site, make sure that the pages are loaded within 10 seconds. Grouping the navigational elements in proper categories is necessary for this purpose. It is strongly recommended that the designers use common names for sections like Home, Products, Help, Contact Us rather than using trendy alternatives. Sites using Flash for designing should provide an HTML version to ensure fast loading.

Simple navigational links should be provided at the bottom of long pages. All internal pages should be linked to the homepage. Such links should be preferably put at same position in every page. Displaying the “breadcrumb trail” is very useful for the user. It helps in knowing the trail that has landed him in that page. The trail typically looks like Home > Section > Sub-section > Page. A user can easily navigate back to the Section by clicking on it rather than going through Home > Section.

If you are designing a site that is too big and elaborate then make sure to include “Search” capability for helping visitors. Set a search box at top right corner for searching your site and not the web.

Design a custom error page having links to main sections for helping visitors who have followed a bad link to the site.

Developing content

Usually content should be written in a simple language. There are few technical sites where visitors look for technical content. Unless you are developing content for such a site, try to keep it simple, smart and precise. Using a font size of 10pt or more has been accepted as good practice. A spell checker should be used for avoiding embarrassing spelling mistakes.

Presenting the content

Top of the page should be preserved for your best content. It holds attention of a visitor and arouses interest. Pages may be designed with tables or by using CSS (cascading style sheets) for ensuring that they fit standard screens and there is no need of horizontal scrolling.

Using black fonts on white background or white text on dark background have proved to work well. Using web safe fonts like Verdana or Arial is desirable. Recently introduced fonts from Google offer exciting choices for web designers.

Try avoiding long text blocks. Visitors prefer to scan a page quickly for the desired content. Presenting content in bullet form, creating subtitles, hyperlinks and highlighted keywords help in scanning. Using all caps text, busy background, centralized text blocks and excessive use of animation are major drawbacks. Avoid using pop-ups and ensure that the pages are compatible with latest version of browsers and mostly used screen resolution.

Managing links

Descriptive links should tell the user where it will lead, rather than simply “click here”. Underlining the links with blue color and visited links in purple color has become custom. If the links guide the user to files other than HTML (PDF, Excel etc) then it should be indicated by using icon of that file. While using graphic links make sure to use the ALT attribute. Take care to exclude the pages that are under construction from all links. There should be no broken links on your website.

Using graphics

Graphics used for designing a website should be optimized. Try using only .jpg and .gif file format. Minimizing size of image files and using thumbnails for gallery are some good practices for using graphics in web designing. Clicking on thumbnails should lead the user to enlarged image. Using ALT attributes for all images is desirable.

Optimizing the site

Creating a sitemap helps the search engine robots in locating and indexing content from your site in SERP (search engine result pages). Creating short and smart page titles entice major search engines. Using appropriate keywords in the content helps in finding the site. However, overusing them may be penalized. Try to use the keywords in Meta tag, page title and body of the text for getting the best result. From SEO perspective, minimizing use of Flash and JavaScript and maximizing use of text is helpful.

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