If you are a beginner to intermediate level designer you should consider the tips below before designing a new website.
Focus should always be on users needs and design should facilitate and support these needs.
1. Clear and Easy Navigation: The position of your navigation will determine the length of time a visitor stays and goes through your website.
All important links should be at prominent places and accessible from all parts of the site. Use right and left side menus when appropriate and also footer for your important links. The menu structure should be neat, consistent and flexible. This will allow you to easily add additional links if required.
2. Clean, Consistent and Fast Loading Design: A clean layout will enhance your website design and will keep focus on its content. Chose readable and professional looking fonts, but make sure they are available on all computers. Follow consistency throughout the site and do not change content structure as this will confuse users.
Designs should be optimized for the web to take not more than 15 seconds to load. You might create fantastic designs, but very few people will actually see them if they take a long time to load.
3. Smart use of images – Simplicity is crucial for effective web design. Keep your site simple but neat. Avoid big images that take ages to load and instead use tables and catching icons that will draw a visitor’s attention to a particular section of your site.
Visitors are usually more interested in content than in design.
4. Screen Resolutions: Reduce scrolling for websites with long pages of content. Having in mind that today computers have all kinds of resolution – from 640 x 480 to 1024 x 768 and higher, designing stretch layouts that fit any screen resolution ensures that your site is always visually appealing and professional, using the most of users’ screens.
The best way to do this is to design your site in terms of percentage and not pixels.
5. Cross Browser Compatibility: Make sure your site is browser compatible with all top browsers Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari and Netscape as they constitute 95% of the world’s browsers.
To learn more about web design, especially if your desire is to become a professional web designer, find and attend a web design course. Griffith College provides professional web design courses which will teach you how to build basic web sites. You will learn how to work with text, paragraphs and tables and also multi-frame layouts using style sheets and layers, templates and libraries.
Griffith College also offers a variety of IT Trainingand Microsoft Training that compliment web design and development. See the Griffith College website for all course listings.