Effective Web Design

Effective Web Design
 by: Tasneem Rangoonwala

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The Basics

Before starting on how to design a website effectively, how about clearing some basic web design concepts?

Designing Effectively

Now that you know what web design and related terms mean, lets get down to the real thing: Designing Effectively How to balance artistic design with practicality and functionality.

Use of graphics and content

Unless your website is all about graphics, how to make them, edit them or just a bunch of links to graphics websites, I suggest you use graphics sparingly, especially the flashing, twirling kind. They not only detract readers from the content, but they also take ages to load. You do not want your readers to leave your website because your graphically attractive page does not seem to load fast enough. Then again, too much text is boring. So mix and match the graphics and text on your page, having enough white space so that the page is not plain annoying.

Layout and design

While designing, keep in mind that poor layout and design will make your pages unreadable and difficult to keep your visitors on your website for long. Some of the things that make a poor design and layout:


Text that is too small to read
Color combinations of text and background that make the text hard to read
Large graphic files that take forever to load
Multiple things that blink
Unclear navigation; over complex navigation
Paragraphs of type in all caps, bold, and italic all at once
Graphics that don't fit on the screen (assuming a screen of 640x460 pixels)
Animations that never stop
Complicated frames, too many frames, unnecessary scroll bars in frames
Cluttered, not enough alignment of elements

Some of the things that make a webpage stand out from the crowd:


Stay away from bad design features listed above.
Background does not interrupt the text
Navigation buttons and bars are easy to understand and use
Good use of graphic elements (photos, subheads, pull quotes) to break up large areas of text
A large site has an index or site map
Link colors coordinate with page color
Every graphic link has a matching text link
Animated graphics turn off by themselves
Pages download quickly

All pages have the immediate visual impact within 640 x 460 pixels

Planning

Most of the time, all it takes to design your website effectively is a little planning. When designing a website, it needs to be clean, uncluttered, attractive and easy for users to read and find what they need. Begin with a webdesign plan:

what colors do you want to use?

Are these colors complimentary?

What items - text, images, data - do you want to put in your pages?

What layout do you want? Look at other websites and then decide.

Follow the above steps to get a website that speaks for itself and your business. You can always contact me for suggestions and webdesign projects.

This article was posted on April 12, 2004

Liquid Apogee Designs has been developing web sites since 1997. Review our web design services and web development tools.

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