Web Design: Keep it Simple

Your website is a direct reflection of your business.  By implementing the following technical and practical Web design tips you can make your website more user-friendly.

Simple Web design
Complicated websites make it difficult for your visitor to know what to do. When you keep your website simple your visitors are more likely to stick around and buy a service or product.

Make sure visitors know what your site is about within 4 to 5 seconds.

Don't have too many things going on at once.  All you need to make a website complete is a single navigation bar with text on the individual Web pages. Your navigation bar should contain only the most important sections of your site.  You don't want to overwhelm your visitor with too many choices.  Less important pages should link from the main sections, but be careful not to do this too much so that the visitor has to dig through your site for information on a product or service.

Consistent Web design
Make sure your website has a consistent look and feel. Choose a design and stick with it. Your navigation bar should be the same on every page so people don't have to continuously relearn your website.

Effective Web copy
The text on each page of your website reflects your business and is important for search engine placement. Well integrated key phrases will bring your website more traffic while conveying a clear message.

Copywriting is professional and effective when it is clear and concise. Consumers want to buy with confidence. Professional copywriting will give your visitors confidence in your product or service.

Hire a professional website copywriter or read the free copywriting articles at www.marketingwords.com/articles.html and do it yourself.

Careful use of graphics
Do not overload your website with large graphics. People are more interested in information than they are pretty graphics. Too many graphics slow down your website and make your visitors wait. The faster your website loads the better chance you have of keeping your visitor's attention.

Do not resize your graphics in your web editor.  It will make the image look pixilated and it won't reduce your image's file size at all. Instead resize all your graphics with a graphics editor such as Adobe Photoshop.

Design with image formats in mind
JPEG, PNG and GIF are the only three formats should you will want to use on the Internet.  As a general rule, save your image files as JPEG when many colors are involved, such as a photograph, and GIF or PNG when less colors are involved.  When you follow this rule your images will look better and load faster.

PNG is a newer image format and allows for more colors, faded transparency and smaller file sizes.  PNG also adjusts how bright it displays depending on the operating system it is on.  This may not be a good thing as other elements on your website will not adjust and may make your site look inconsistent.

Have someone check your Web design
Once you make the appropriate changes to your website show other people and ask what they think of it.  Show at least one person from outside your company who can be more objective.

By designing your website to be simple, consistent and well written you can avoid loosing potential customers.