The one important thing to remember with regard to web design principle is that you are creating that website for its users and not for your personal pleasure and certainly not for the big search engines.
I often encounter questions on what constitutes good web design and nearly all those who asked me frown in the end thinking that I am monotonous. I guess most of them didn’t expect to hear again what they already knew. Let me reiterate, it is pretty easy to design websites that frustrate visitors although it isn’t your intention.
The Fundamental Mantra For Web Design
The first thing to keep in mind with regard to web design is you are designing that site for your visitors and you need to make a website that makes a great first impression. Visitors are likely bounce off your site without even bothering to see whether other stuff is good at all if they get annoyed. Luckily, most common design mistakes have a fix. Although they appear simple, (monotonous?) they are actually what you need to target.
The Avoid List
Site design elements like animated GIFs, scrolling or blinking texts, flash movies etc are what I call as sleazy elements of web design. If your visitors aren’t expecting them, they distract their concentration if all they want to do on your site is read your articles. It’s like fruitlessly trying to study math sitting in a cinema. Worse still, some people have auto-loading audios, which is a blunder of first rate.
The “avoid list” is not small, you may also want to avoid background images, popup windows, dark backgrounds, small texts, difficult text colors etc. Take a moment on how you are going to align your main text body. As an example, center aligning the whole article disturbs the reader and his eyesight follow-through line carriages besides looking awkward.
Plan Your Web Design
Planning your web design is not exactly similar to planning your website. So, I am not talking about site architecture here but about making your web design as much user friendly as possible.
The basic tenet of this principle rests on keeping distracting elements to their minimum and moving them away from the main content area. Let your navigation preferably be below the header and content straight below that. It is tempting to place banners below header and navigation but this nudges your first headline of main content to almost second half of your page. Personally, I have clicked off of such websites particularly if it was my accidental visit there.
Make It Easy To Find Stuff
Yes, I am talking about navigation. Success of your web design depends as much on good navigation bar as it does on overall aesthetics and simplicity. First of all, you’ve got to place your navigation menu at a prominent place and then use indicative texts rather than bland, unimaginative words that you normally find on table of contents of government gazettes. The text navigation links must reassure the visitor that he will find what he was looking for by clicking it. Avoid image or flash buttons for navigation from the perspective of SEO.
You must add menu in each page even though it can be different but never forget to give the visitor a way to reach the home page from whatever page he is in to avoid aborting.
Be imaginative, do web design from the perspective of visitors, and you will see results.