Monthly Archives: June 2010

Ten ? Deadly ?web Site Design Sins? and How to Avoid Them (part One of Three)

1) Do you want to be FLASH?

Having a whole site developed using flash by a specialist design consultancy can result in an exciting and even exhilarating media experience for your customers, the main points to keep in mind as to whether to go ‘All Flash’, ‘No Flash’ or ‘Some Flash’ are as follows:

Is your customer base likely to view your website via a high-speed connection, for example are you in the B2B (business to business) space?

Who is your main target audience? If you are selling to mainly home users who may still have a slow dial up Internet connection then no flash or a very limited usage of carefully constructed flash will be the only real option.

If you are an established business who has already built a strong and loyal client base and do not need to worry about search engines to achieve your expected or projected revenue, then using Flash for your entire website can be an exciting choice, especially if the design consultancy are excellent at what they do. A Flash website can be a captivating online experience, one which can both engage your target audience and project interesting dimensions into your clients interaction with your business, something which cannot be achieved to quite the same degree on the usually more flat and less engaging standard non interactive websites.

You need to be mindful of the technology utilised by search engines to find your all important content, as the web is based upon different technology to Flash and as such, at this current moment in time for the majority of website designs it is worth restricting the usage of flash. Utilising Flash to provide your target audience with a more engaging user experience can be a fantastic choice as long as it is built around a solid html based architecture; this will ensure that using this great media tool does not spell disaster for your online organic marketing.

If you are looking to run a campaign or advertisement on your website or are looking to incorporate a few elements of flash it can be a powerful tool to engage your prospective target audience. It will not be long when the use of streaming media and flash media becomes an everyday part of the web, as Telco companies entice more and more people away from the chains of dial up Internet unleashing the true power of the web.

2) Do not do a ‘DIY’ website design –

Generating the correct image for your organisation, whether small, medium or large is imperative in today’s business world, like no other time in history has it been more important for you to create the right image with your target audience, one that resonates with them, one that allows them to identify with you and conversely you with them.

People are now targeted every day with so much information and with so many choices it makes it imperative for you to communicate with your target audience so that they can recognise and differentiate you from the thronging masses, if you do not then how can you expect to gain their attention and ultimately their business? DIY web site creation at the outset may appear to be a cost effective strategy, and if you have the time and expertise to become an expert, (or at least produce expert quality work) whereby you utilise design tools to re-create the template into a unique custom looking design, then it may be a viable possibility. Though, for the majority who do not have the time, creative flare or technical skills to produce expert quality work you are more likely to produce low quality design that will be perceived as sloppy, unprofessional and third rate. For those who opt for a template design it will be a false economy as at first glance your business website may appear professional, though as with all template designs your business will have the look and feel of hundreds if not thousands and thousands of other business websites. Why create a whole business around the design, look and feel of a thousand of other websites when you can utilise the services of an affordable web design company who can create a unique masterpiece for you that will propel your business into a league of it’s own. In the crowded streets of this superhighway you want to make sure that you have another gear to be able to drop down into so that you can leverage full steam ahead leaving the opposition whirling around in confusion.

3) Navigational Design and Structural Architecture:

Using a Design house that can look at these elements of your website and build them into the design as they map out and structure your site is a key component of successful website design. The vast majority of web designers miss the point completely in this area, either the design is weak or the navigational design and structural architecture is all wrong. If you utilise a professional company who use skilled expert designers that work along side other professionals with diverse backgrounds in areas such as corporate learning and development and/or marketing then you are sure to achieve a resounding and satisfactory result for your business. These companies are rare, though there are a few who do exist, unfortunately they tend to charge a small fortune for their services, however if you look in the right places there are still companies out there who offer this quality of work for an affordable and fair price. You need to partner with a graphic design agency that have a diverse and multi-skilled background, a team that understands and achieves great design whilst always adhering to core principles of navigational design and structural architecture. Your business deserves a team whose sole aim is your immediate and continued future satisfaction. When these core principles are adhered to then during the SEO phase of your website promotions the need to spend unnecessary time and money on the navigational redesign & architectural modifications to your website will be minimised, if not completely eradicated.

However if you are in the unfortunate position of owning or being responsible for one of the many websites that suffer from this very real and prevalent problem, then there are a few Expert SEO (SEM) companies out there, whose extensive skill set and expertise can provide you with SEO solutions to rectify and undo all the damage inflicted by a previous novice provider.

Even with a great looking design, poor navigation will ultimately lead to fewer returning visitors to your website, and consequently less sales for your business. One analogy that springs to mind, is the business that has a prime position, fantastic street frontage and a great fit out, though with absolutely no parking in the immediate vicinity of the business, undoubtedly creating another unwanted road block between the customer & the business. Roadblocks push your potential customers to another business that is easier to deal with, otherwise known as your competitor. If visitors cannot easily find the information they are looking for within your site, or they experience error pages, broken links, or pages with too many moving objects (animations, scrolling menus and text, motion driven flash, marquees) then they are likely to either completely leave your website, never to return, or will miss important information that you wanted them to see. Create an environment where the customer wants to stay, a place where they can find what they are looking for, and a place where buying from you is made hassle free and easy, after all that is the reason they are looking at your website in the first place.

Keep your navigation simple by creating clear links on all web pages, do not provide the visitor the reason to click elsewhere, or even leave your site altogether.

Ensure that you do not fall into the trap of having endless web pages that scroll down forever. Websites who utilise this adaptation of one endless page of information are thankfully set to become a thing of the past, a little piece of unimportant Internet history.

Another terrible and deadly design sin is the use of the horizontal Scroll bar; it is a little like the sales man who has a weak and feeble handshake and cannot even comfortably look you in the eye. It is the ultimate design sin and one you cannot allow under any circumstances. There will never be a justifiable requirement to employ such a terrible piece of navigational design within your website.

Another important and usually overlooked usability guideline for navigational design is the need to help users understand where they’ve been on your website, where they currently are, and also where they can go to – Try to think about it as Past, Present, and Future.

Take the necessary time out to ensure that your website includes a sitemap, this will ensure that advanced users have the ability to navigate your web pages easily, some more advanced users will often navigate a website this way, at the same time as creating a page that is easy for human users of your website to understand you will also ensure that your pages are presented in a format that is preferred by some of the main search engines, this will allow them to index your pages and follow the deep linking within your site so as to discover more of your websites all important content. There are other methods which can be utilised to govern the way search engines view your site, one of which is through your robots.txt file, again something else that is better placed in the hands of a expert SEO company

Look out for the next part of this information packed series (Three part series, submitted over 3 weeks)

Ten Deadly ?Design Sins? and how to avoid them supplied by courtesy of BrandArt ? ?Your Graphic Design Experts?. Brandart is a graphic design company based in SYdney.

Important Tips for the Web Site Designing

Web design is a conceptualization, planning, modeling and execution of electronic media content delivery via internet in the form of internet in the form of technologies (such as markup languages) suitable for interpretation and display by a web a browser or other web based graphic user interfaces. A web site is a collection of information about a particular topic or subject. Designing a website is an arrangement and creation of web pages that in turn make up a web site. A web page consists of information for which the web site is developed. There are many aspects in this process, and due to the rapid development of the internet, new aspects may emerge. For commercial websites, the basic aspects of design are;

1) The content: The substance and information on the site should be relevant to the site and should target the area of the public that the website is concerned with.
2) The usability: the site should be user friendly, with the interface and navigation simple and reliable.
3) The appearance: the graphic and text should use a single style that flows throughout, to show consistency. The style should be professional, appealing and relevant.
4) The visibility: the site must also be easy to find via most, if not all, major search engines and advertisement media.

Website design company crosses multiple disciplines of information systems, information technology and communication design. The web site is an information system whose components are sometimes classified as front-end and back-end. The observed content i.e. text, page layout, user interface, graphics, audio etc. is known as the front-end. The back-end compromises the organization and efficiency of the source code, invisible script function, and the server side component that process the output from the front-end.

Designing a website requires much more than just programming and graphic skills. It requires an understanding of business processes and experience in strategic Internet marketing. Olive provide not only good looking web design Delhi, India and all over the world solutions but also make sure the sites are customer oriented and search engine friendly.

Ashish(SEO Consultant)

Optimised Web Site Design

In order for a website to work correctly there are many things to be considered:

Site download time
On page optimisation
User Friendly design
Page dimensions
Content
Install an analytics package

The above are all very important in the process of building a site and should be considered carefully.

Site download time is becoming an important issue and rumours have it that search engines are going to be looking at this more and more. Visitors to your website will not want to wait a long time for it to download; research has shown that users will only wait on average 8 seconds for a page download. If your site is too slow you will lose visitors to competitors. To speed up your site don’t add too many images and limit the amount of flash involved.

On page optimisation is crucial if you want search engines to find your website. With more and more people using search engines to find websites and information you really need to carefully select what keywords, descriptions and page titles you use. Think about what words people will use to search for you and make sure that they are included in the title, description and keywords. By doing this you will be found by search engines. An SEO specialist can help you with this.

Make sure your website has a user friendly design; you need to think about where certain things should be such as menus and content. Most people get used to looking in certain places for menus and links so if you put yours in an unusual place they won’t be able to find it and will leave. Other things to consider are colour schemes don’t over do it as it will confuse your users, do make it appealing though.

Page dimensions can be a difficult one, if you are using a large widescreen monitor then your design may look good but to someone who is using a smaller screen it can be a bad experience. Do not make the page too wide because users with smaller screens will have to navigate horizontally which is a big turn off for most users. Height isn’t such a big issue as users do not mind scrolling down a page, but this said don’t go over board.

Content is probably one of the most important components of any site. Search engines love content and it looks like they always will. New updated content gives them something to read and makes your website more important to them helping you become more visible. This said don’t just write any old thing on there as the most important aspect is that users who come onto your site want to find what they are looking for and easily so don’t babble. Content can also come in the form of blogs so make sure your website has an integrated blog as this way any updates are new and fresh and on your site. Content can also contain good keywords which again will appeal to search engines.

Obviously you will want to know how many visitors your site has and where they have come from; you would be surprised at the amount of websites designed without this in mind. Without analytics you do not know what is going on, it is like having a store and not knowing how many visitors are coming in. If you have an e-commerce site then by not knowing your visitors you will not know your conversion rate of sales. If you know that 1000 people visit your site each week but you are only selling 10 items something is wrong, you can then look at your site design, products and pricing to understand what is putting people off. Analytics is vital to understanding your web site.

Having a website is a great way to showcase your business or personal interests but if it isn’t optimised then nobody can find it and it will be just out there not creating any interest.

Ian Spencer works for Clear Web Services, a SEO Web Optimisation and Web Design company serving the Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire and South Wales. He has worked in the SEO and Internet Marketing world for many years, and working in partnership with another company has launched the new SEO business. Web Design Gloucester For More Information, please call 01594 835 857 or email info@clearwebservices.com

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