Tips for Better Site Design
By: Thomas Young, MBA
Follow these pointers for excellent site design:
- Minimize the number of graphics on every page to keep loading times to a minimum.
- Make all graphic files as small as possible for the same reason.
- Include your logo at the upper left corner of the page, to meet user expectations.
- Link every appearance of your logo to the home page.
- Title each page with keywords that clearly describe the content. Don’t use “Home Page.”
- Group your pages according to user expectations rather than company expectations.
- Write copy that instantly tells of benefits to the user.
- Keep fluffy self-promotion to an absolute minimum.
- Make explanations short, with links to additional background information.
- Use italics and underlines sparingly, to maintain good visual clarity.
- Use headings and subheadings to break text into smaller blocks.
- Keep words small and avoid technical jargon whenever possible.
- Make certain that your Shopping Cart (for e-commerce sites) is extremely easy to use.
- Offer a search engine to help people find information quickly (if you have a large site).
- Offer a free monthly e-mail newsletter if your site offers expertise in a popular topic.
- Make sure all links on your site function perfectly to avoid annoying 404 errors.
- Avoid flash introductions, which are generally considered annoying hype by busy users.
- Flash is excellent as an interactive tool for delivering information, however.
- Feature your contact information prominently at the same place on every page.
- Show all major navigation links on every page. The left column is often the best place.
- Make it easy for users to tell friends and co-workers about your site.
- nclude a Site Map to give users a quick glance at the entire site.
- Establish credibility by joining privacy and security groups and posting those logos.
- Offer easy access to personal customer service via phone, e-mail or online chat.
- State your return/refund policy clearly and link to it from every page.
Thomas Young is CEO and President of Intuitive Websites, a Colorado Springs based Internet marketing, Website design and usability firm. To learn more about Intuitive Websites contact Tom at 719-481-4040 or tom@IntuitiveWebsites.com.