Web Design Dos and Don’ts

By David Adress
President, Bitochon Technologies

When creating a website there are some things that you as a web designer need to be aware of. These are things that are normally overlooked yet can make or break your website. Web designers are faced with new challenges as every pixel and line of code contributes to the overall effort required for an effective website design. Users nowadays have the attention span of a two-year old; you have a very tiny window of opportunity to get their attention and make them stay on your page.

The following Dos and Don’ts of web design in New York will help you to capture the user’s attention and make your website aesthetically pleasing.

The Dos of Web Designing

 

a) Make Your Website Visually Appealing

If anyone tells you that people don’t judge a book by its cover then that is a big fat lie! The first thing that anyone sees, whether it is in cars, clothes, websites etc, is the visual appearance. It is the very first thing people will notice when they visit your website and it better be a good one. Capture the user’s attention with a beautiful website design that utilizes attractive gradients/textures, colors and images (if any).

b) A Consistent Look & Feel

When designing your website, make sure that it stands out as a whole. The look and feel of the website across all the pages should be consistent. This will give your visitor a sense of recognition as they will know that these pages belong to the same website. You can use style sheets as they make it much easier for you to maintain a synchronized look and feel throughout all the pages of your website.

c) Reuse Visual Elements

If you want to add consistency to your website’s pages, you should reuse the main visual elements of your homepage or company on every page. Visuals are an integral part of website designing and internet marketing, repeating the images, colors and fonts on every page will keep the visitor focused on your brand.

d) Align the Table Cells Content

If you are using an HTML table to align your content then make sure you do it right by aligning them vertically. Having the content rightly aligned in a vertical position will add to the aesthetics of the website making it easier for the visitor to go through the content instead of jumping his eyes all over the place.

e) Choose the Right Fonts Styles and Sizes

Typography is an important part of web design. The right size and style of font for the headings of any section of your website will greatly affect the visitor’s viewing experience. In general, choose one font style and size as your main for the headings and titles and a different font style and size for the content. This will greatly improve your website’s readability.

f) Make Your Pages Easy to Scan

Users nowadays scan through pages rather than read each and every single word, unless they’re looking for information. Your web design should let the visitor know what your website is about in one glance. Get the right information out to your reader. Focus on the important items and use proper H tags (h3 tags are your best bet). Using images, quotes and block quotes is an effective way of portraying your website’s purpose.

The Don’ts of Web Designing

 

a) Never Use Dark Backgrounds

Avoid using dark background colors and images, always! They not only make your website look cheap but make reading the text more difficult for the visitors. Reading on a dark background puts strain on the user’s eyes because the light that hits each word is reflected and scattered into each other. This makes it harder to perceive the shapes of the letters and words. If the user finds it hard to read then they will most definitely leave for another website that did not make the same mistake as you did.

b) Don’t Gorge Your Pages with Content and Ads

If an image or text has been pushed to the edge of the table, it will look awful. Don’t feel that just because you see white space here and there you have to fill it up with stuff even if it isn’t useful. You can always create more pages. Your website pages should follow a clean outline with your site name at the very top, list the subject of the rest of the pages below the site name and below that you should expand on your topics. Cramming ads in every nook and corner is a big turnoff for visitors. If you want to keep an ad (s) then keep it to the sides so that the reader is not overwhelmed by them.

c) Don’t Let Your Tables Get Pushed Out of the Screen

Users hate horizontal scrolling and the only way to avoid that is to make sure your tables stay within the screen. Tables are flexible so use this to your advantage. Don’t put large elements inside table cells as it will make them too large making horizontal scrolling necessary.

d) Don’t Overuse Frames

Limit the number of frames you are using. Using too many frames can cause the website to be crammed on screens with low-resolution. Make sure you optimize your website design for lower resolutions such as 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768.

e) Avoid Mixing Horizontal Aligning

If you mix the text that is left-aligned with centered text, it will make a mess of your page. Decide on your text’s alignment and keep it consistent throughout. If you want it to be centered then align all text to center. Only exceptions are headers or text that has been placed in a border.

f) Don’t Fill a Couple of Pages with All the Content

If there is one thing that stops users from subscribing and convinces them to never return to a website is a 1000-word long block of content on a page with no headings and paragraph breaks. There is no indication that there is anything important inside the content containing little to no relevant blog words. Make it easier for the user by breaking up your content.

Whether you’re a web developer yourself or want to hire one, these Dos and Don’ts of web design should be at the forefront of all website development in New York.