Tips for Better Site Design

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 privacy policy clearly and link to it from every page.
  • 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 [email protected].