WEB DESIGN GUIDE BOLTON
Design is very personal and sometimes people find it difficult to express exactly what specification they want or require. Most customers know they want a website for their company but aren't really sure what it should look like or what content it should contain. To help you along, I've put together this simple guide to help get your website off the ground. Taking some time to read this and following the steps will aid a more fluent design process and hopefully a speedy development time.
Although I do not advocate plagiarism, I think a good way to start thinking about the overall look of your website is to look at what's around online at the moment. Spending some time looking with a somewhat critical eye at the web designs of your competitors and even websites that have no relation to your business will help you to think about what you would like to see on your own website .
2. Overall layout of the Website
Take a look at how the content displayed on the websites. Is it in a series of columns 1,2 3 or more? Is it the full width of the screen?
The content you want to have on your website may dictate the overall layout of your website. For instance, if you feel you don't have a great deal of content to go on your website, it may be advantageous to have 2 or 3 columns and pad them out to fill the blank spaces or use images both relevant and abstract to fill the voids.
3. How is the web site's navigation laid out?
It is important that your website is easy to navigate and allows the user to find the information they are looking for intuitively and with ease.
Would you prefer a horizontal menu bar or vertical or mix of both? Does your website need sub-navigation?
4. Web safe colour scheme
Certain colours work well together on the web more so than in other situations. Kuler is a good tool to help deciding on a colour scheme for your website. You can either use one of the colour schemes already created or devise your own.
5. Font type
Another factor to consider is the font-type to be used on the website. As well as affecting the visual appearance of a website the font can set the tone of the content. The type of business you are in or the subject matter of the content the website holds will determine which font would be best suited.
For example a legal website would'nt look too professional if it used a casual looking font such as this one called comic sans.
A more appropriate one would be this Times New Roman font.
A good website to look at for inspiration that is easy to use and naviagate is Typechart. It quickly allows you to compare the many different typefaces and sizes with a simple click.
6. Content copyright
This is the important one and for many the most difficult. Regardless of the quality of web design, if the content isn't appropriate or contain information that the user is searching for, then the user will switch off and go looking at some other website.
A good website should read easy and contain relevant content that the page title suggests it should have. For example this web page entitled 'Web Design Guide' should contain exactly that. Suprising as it sounds that rule doesn't always follow. Imagine how frustrating it would be if you were searching for a Web Design Guide and you found this web page through search engine or simply by navigating through this website and it didn't contain any information relating to a Web Design Guide!
There are a number of ways to get started in writing your website's content. One idea for a business website would be to break down the services you offer into headings which in turn could become the menu items of the website. Then under each heading or menu item, write a short paragraph about each of the services you provide. Use lists is to break down information, this makes it easier to write and in turn makes for a more readable website. Web users are notoriously impatient so bite size chunks of information are more suitable for websites than essays.
This short article '10 Tips for Good Web Writing' is a useful guide to writing web content that gives short concise ideas about how to go about it.
Images are very important to the look of a website. First impressions count a lot, particularly on the worldwide web.
As we know people have short attention spans when viewing websites. Your website is competing with lots of other websites in your market, each vying for the attention for people surfing the internet. A high quality image clearly displaying the service your company offers, will tell a viewer who has just landed on your home page exactly what you do in an instant and hopefully hook them to investigate your web site further.
If you do not have any images or photographs there are a number of websites offering stock photos. Take a look at iStockphoto . These images are generic images on a variety of subjects and industries, generally using models and are available to buy.