The Dos and Don'ts Of Business Web Design
It would appear that many business
owners just aren't getting it when it comes to Web design. It has
been proven over and over again that Web surfers prefer certain
things when visiting sites. The list below is short, sweet and
to-the-point. It will help to guide you as you design, or redesign,
your site for maximum effectiveness.
- DON'T write copy that is
focused on your company. Place emphasis on how buying your product
or service will benefit your visitor. Use the word YOU (referring
to your visitor) instead of WE or US.
- DO be very clear on the
home page about what your site offers. Don't make them guess.
- DO use good grammar and
check your spelling!
- DO break up the copy
into small, easy to read portions by using headings, subheadings
and lists to break up the copy.
- DO use an easy to ready
font such as Arial or Verdana.
- DON'T use all caps as
they are hard to read and associated with shouting. Also use bold
and italics in moderation.
Navigation System -
- DO provide text links
even if you use navigation buttons or image maps. Some people have
images turned off in their browser to speed loading time and will
have a difficult time navigating your Web site without text
- DO be consistent in your
navigation. Your navigation links and buttons should be in the
same location on every page.
- DON'T allow broken links
on your site. Download a FREE program called Xenu that will check
all links and report errors.
- DO open a new window
when linking to an external site. This will allow your visitors to
easily return to your site when they are finished visiting the
- DO consider adding a
search engine to larger sites. Atomz offers a FREE search engine
and is considered to be one of the best on the market.
Design and Layout
- DON'T design your site
yourself unless you can make it look professional. "Homemade"
looking sites simply don't sell.
- DO think twice about
using frames. Most search engines dislike sites with frames and
won't index them. Using frames also won't allow your visitors to
bookmark the inner pages as the URL remains constant regardless of
what page you are on.
- DO keep the layout of
each Web page consistent. Each page should have the same basic
- DO choose your colors
carefully. The colors of your Web site are important because they
will define the mood and emotions of your visitors as well as
reflect your identity and image branding.
- DON'T make your site too
"busy". Leave some "white space" as it helps to guide the eye from
one point to another and eases eye strain.
- DON'T use clip art as it
looks cheap and tacky. Have your graphics custom and
professionally made whenever possible.
- DO use alt tags with all
your images and make them descriptive. Many people with visual
impairments use a speech synthesizer which reads aloud to them the
contents of the Web page. If an image doesn't have an alt tag, the
synthesizer will simply say, "image". Alt tags are also important
for those who have images turned off in their browsers. The alt
tag will show in the area where the image normally would be.
- DO provide forms
throughout your Web site that allow your visitors to give you
feedback. You can learn a lot from what your visitors have to
- DO provide an email link
or contact form on every page.
- DO view and test your
Web site in as many different browsers and browser versions as
possible. Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator are the two
most commonly used browsers.
- DO choose a few people
who can give you honest feedback to test your Web site thoroughly
and give you insight on its useability.
Despite all the hype about java
scripts, Flash presentations and animation, the simple Web sites are
the ones visitors return to regularly. Surfers prefer sites that are
to the point and easy to navigate without them having to download
Keeping these few simple tips in
mind during your site design can mean the difference between a highly
visited site and one that is clicked over.
About the teacher:
Viki Nygaard is
President of Mount Evans Designs specializing in professional Web
design. For those businesses who insist on quality but must maintain
a budget, visit http://www.mountevansdesigns.com
today. You'll be thrilled with the exceptional designs and the