Good Web Design Practices and
Things to Avoid
Your website is where your business resides -- it's like the
headquarter of an offline company. Hence, it is important to practise good design principles to make sure your site
reaches out to the maximum number of visitors and sells to as many people as possible.
Make sure you have clear directions on the navigation of your
website. The navigation menu should be uncluttered and concise so that visitors know how to navigate around your
website without confusion. You have to provide a simple and very straightforward navigation menu so that even a
young child will know how to use it. Stay away from complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus.
If your visitors don't know how to navigate, they will leave your site.
When visitors are deeply engrossed in browsing your site, you
will want to make sure they know which part of the site they are in at that moment. That way, they will be able to
browse relevant information or navigate to any section of the site easily.
Reduce the number of images on your website. They make your site
load very slowly and more often than not they are very unnecessary. If you think any image is essential on your
site, make sure you optimize them using image editing programs so that they have a minimum file size.
Keep your text paragraphs at a reasonable length. If a paragraph
is too long, you should split it into separate paragraphs so that the text blocks will not be too big. This is
important because a block of text that is too large will deter visitors from reading your content.
Make sure your website complies to web standards and make sure
they are cross-browser compatible. If your website looks great in Internet Explorer but breaks horribly in Firefox
and Opera, you will lose out on a lot of prospective visitors.
Avoid using scripting languages on your site unless it is
absolutely necessary. Use scripting languages to handle or manipulate data, not to create visual effects on your
website. Heavy scripts will slow down the loading time of your site and even crash some browsers. Also, scripts are
not supported across all browsers, so some visitors might miss important information because of that.
Use CSS to style your page content because they save a lot of
work by styling all elements on your website in one go.
Don’t use splash pages: Splash pages are the first pages you see when you arrive at a
website. They normally have a very beautiful image with words like "welcome" or "click here to enter". In fact,
they are just that -- pretty vases with no real purpose. Do not let your visitors have a reason to click on the
"back" button! Give them the value of your site up front without the splash page.
Don’t use Excessive banner advertisements:
Even the least net savvy people have trained
themselves to ignore banner advertisements so you will be wasting valuable website real estate. Instead, provide
more valuable content and weave relevant affiliate links into your content, and let your visitors feel that they
want to buy instead of being pushed to buy.
Avoid using self-loading audio and video on your
site: If your visitor is going to stay a
long time at your site, reading your content, you will want to make sure they're not annoyed by some audio or video
looping on and on in your website on its own. People would leave such site immediately. If you insist on adding
audio or video, make sure the visitors have some control over it. The audio or video should play only when the
visitors want it to play and click on the same.
Extra-large/small text size
You should design the text on your site to be legible and
reasonably sized to enable your visitors to read it without straining their eyes.
Popup windows are so blatantly used to display advertisements.
Imagine if you had a very important message to convey and you put it in a popup window that gets killed most of the
time it appears on a visitor's screen.