What is User Experience (UX) Design? Here’s an Overview.

I bet you’ve heard the terms “UX Design” and “User-Experience Design” thrown around quite regularly lately when it comes to websites, apps and more. Well, so have we, and that’s all good and fine (we’re huge proponents of good UX design), except for the part where most of the so-called “UX Designers” barely understand what it is, let alone actually specialize in it. So, here’s the rundown!

UX Design Definition and History Explained.

The term “user experience”, a.k.a. UX, was first used in the 1990s by Donald “Don” Norman, who was then the Vice President of Apple Computer’s Advanced Technology Group. Although it is defined in different ways, UX links the over-all experience of the user and the system (which can be a website, desktop software or a web application). Some simply describe UX as human-computer interaction. Others refer to it as the total experience of a user visiting a website.

The UXPA or User Experience Professionals Association, however, defines user experience as “Every aspect of the user’s interaction with a product, service, or company that make up the user’s perceptions of the whole. User experience design as a discipline is concerned with all the elements that together make up that interface, including layout, visual design, text, brand, sound, and interaction. UE works to coordinate these elements to allow for the best possible interaction by users”. Therefore, it is an important aspect of product development and customer satisfaction.

Valuable user experience design elements or disciplines

According to user design experience professional Peter Boersma, information architecture helps shape user experience for websites. Additionally, he views UX as an umbrella consisting of related disciplines. As such, he came up with a diagram (The T-model) that enumerated the elements or disciplines needed for efficient user experience design. Boersma’s illustration defined Interaction Design, Usability Engineering, and Computer Science, Information Architecture, Visual Design Marketing & Communications, Information Design, and Copywriting as the key disciplines needed in coming up with the ideal UX design.

If adjusted to today’s technology level, Boersma’s UX focus is summed up into the following core disciplines:

  • Content
  • Usability
  • Research
  • Interaction Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Visual Design

Therefore, to create a UX design that answers visitors’ needs, a user experience professional (labeled as “UX designer”) should deeply understand and know how to balance the above mentioned disciplines. A UX designer focuses on a website’s ease of use, efficiency, process (particularly for e-commerce sites), utility, content, accessibility, and even sub-systems & processes. Every aspect of a website should go “under the nose” of the UX designer.

The importance of user experience

When browsing through or visiting a website, users will want everything to work according to his expectations. We will want the pages to open as soon as the mouse clicks. We will want a visual experience that pleases the senses. We will want content that he can use or benefit from. We will want to find the information he needs without having to go through numerous steps. In short, we will want a pleasant experience.

Generally, a website with good user experience design will result to a high level of customer satisfaction. Thus, the site will get more views and visits. E-commerce websites offering the ideal user experience will enjoy more profit; customers will keep coming back to the site and buying its products/services. Even visitors who originally planned to just browse through the website will often end up purchasing the offerings.

The ideal user experience design varies for each website. There is no such thing as “one size fits all” in UX design. Everything will depend on the website, what it needs and what it intends to achieve. The ideal user experience design should be tailored or patterned to the site’s values, goals and products.

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One of the best Ways to Google’s Heart? Fresh content!

If you haven’t been quite successful in getting Google to notice your website, cheer up because you’re not alone!

Ever since Google came out with new algorithms and introduced Hummingbird to the public, a lot of online marketers, web developers and website owners have shifted a major bulk of their attention to one element: content. Yes, content matters now more than ever if you want Google to be your best friend. Content still matters if you want to improve your website’s search engine ranking. Content matters a lot in search engine optimization.

What types of content?

You can publish blog posts, articles, infographics, tutorials, memes, vlogs (video blogs), podcasts; among others. When posting non-text content, such as infographics and videos, make sure to include a description or accompanying text with it. For instance, when your content is a video tutorial on how to knit, include its transcripts. You can also put a summary or short how-to. This way, people with slow Internet connection or those that don’t want to spend too much time watching your video will know what your content is all about.

Not just plain content but fresh content

What Google actually favors is not just plain content, but original and fresh content. Hummingbird is the type of bird that favors precision, and this is exactly what Google is looking for, too. This is something you can get only if your website is constantly updated with useful and informative content.

When we talk about fresh content, we talk about content that is up-to-date, useful and relevant. Content that matters. In other words, if you are to keep your website’s content fresh, you should frequently update it. The more frequent you update your content, the better for Google to find it. This is the reason why a webpage that was developed just two days ago will get a higher fresh content rating compared to one that was created some months ago. In other words, don’t allow your content to remain stagnant.

If you are to attract Google, the first thing that you should do is schedule a regular update for your content. It’s simple. All you need to do is decide how frequently you update your website. Some post every two days, while others do so every other day. It’s really all up to you. Although there’s no required number of posts or articles you should do, we advice that you should update at least once a week. You’ll have to do a little experiment and some web analytics to find out which one will work best for your website.

Share and promote them through social media and forums

And it helps a lot if you know how to share your fresh content through social media. So once you’re done publishing your blog, share or promote your article through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and / or Pinterest. If you want to go deep, share your content to online communities or forums. These portals should be related to your business, service or offered product. If your content and business is about flower arrangement, don’t share to online forums that talk about computers or motorcycles.

Social media and online communities will help generate buzz. If you decide to update again after two days, the buzz will continue and your online presence will stay active. If there’s a lull in your website’s action, there will also be a pause in its traffic.

Remember, however, to make your content unique and original. Otherwise, Google won’t consider even just looking at your site.

Are rewriting and rephrasing articles from other websites recommended?

Basically, rewriting and rephrasing the content of others is an unethical content marketing strategy. Your articles or blog posts will not be considered as fresh and original. However, there are some exceptions. If you’re writing tutorials and scientific content, rewriting and rephrasing are allowed. This is because these types of content are highly methodical. They’re too technical and its information can only come from a single source. This is where you should apply proper citation. Link or hyperlink the sources of your information. Images and videos should also be attributed to their owners.

Tip: If you’re hiring a freelance writer or ghostwriter, before publishing the content to your website, scan them first using Copyscape. This online tool checks your article or blog post for plagiarized content.

What to do?

There are three things that you need to teach yourself if you are to keep your content fresh and original. First is patience. You’ll need a lot of patience in planning out how you should do things. You probably won’t get your plans right the first time; but if you stay patient and keep trying, you’ll be greatly rewarded.

Next, you’ll need a good strategy. How do you plan to regularly update your website? How often will you post fresh, original and high quality content? Are you going to use social media to generate content feedback? Are you going to write all the content yourself or will you hire a ghostwriter? These are questions that will help you come up with the best strategy for regularly posting fresh content that matters.

Finally, you should exert the right amount of effort and perseverance if you want to win your way to Google’s heart. SEO is not – and never will be – an overnight success kind of thing. You’ll have to work hard to get what you want. Don’t give up if your content doesn’t get Google to like you the first time. Just go on and keep doing better. After all, when you keep trying, there’s no way for you to lose.

 

The most important thing to remember is that content will be your website’s best marketing strategy. Since search engine marketing and SEO begun, content was almost always the basis for ranking websites. But keep in mind to not just post a content because you need to update your website. Post only content that is relevant and original. Don’t copy-paste or simply rehash old articles. They don’t count as fresh and original. Just let your creative juices flow and you’ll never go wrong!

Photo courtesy of Tony Ruscoe.

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How to Write An RFP for a Website Design or Development Project

rfp

Website design or development projects come in many different sizes. Some are simple, and some are more complex. Regardless of what type of web design a client wants, it is important that the designer and the client agree on how to work towards fulfilling the requirements, needs and expectations of both parties.

This can be done by coming up with a good RFP or Request for Proposal for website design or development. The RFP contains all the information about what the client’s goals are. Thus, the RFP must be well conceptualized and well made in order to get the most accurate results. With a good RFP, you and your website designer will be able to come up with an agreement or proposal to make sure the website project is a success.

A Request for Proposal can be formal or informal. You don’t need a lawyer or an advanced knowledge & training in website development to make an RFP.

Most of the time, it is the client who prepares the RFP, although some designers also have forms that are given out to customers. Some of the basic information you can find in an RFP are font style, website format and deadlines for deliverables. The details indicated in the RFP are what will help a designer draw an estimate cost for the project.

There may not be a template or a permanent format for RFPs, but there are essential elements that each must possess. These elements will help your designer prepare a good web design RFP.

The most important elements in an RFP

  • An overview of your company is important. In the most concise manner, describe what your company is, what it does, how big the company is and even what the company’s mission and vision are.
  • An overview of what needs to be done to complete the project is likewise essential. Tell your designer – in definite terms – what you need, what you want for the website, how should it function, what features or webpages should be prominently displayed, etc. Use words that are easy to understand. Don’t be too technical.
  • Why are you looking for a web designer? Do you have a website that needs to be updated? Or are you in need of one (a new website created from scratch)? Or maybe you are not satisfied with the performance of your current website? Your objectives should be clear so that the designer will know what kind of results you want? Is the website for a new project or product? Or are you expanding your business?
  • The project details should be what it should be: detailed. The amount of information that you indicate will help the designer come up with a more accurate quote. For example, what are the technical requirements? Will you need a new domain name? How many pages and what type of layout do you want?
  • What are your usability requirements? You need to indicate this in the RFP as well.
  • In addition, it is essential to specify what you want from your website. What do you want it to do for your company? Which features and functionalities do you want to see on your website?
  • Information, like your company logo and the images you want on the website, are likewise important. If you already have your own logo, specify it in the RFP. If you want one made for you, be sure to specify it, too. Also, indicate if you will need web hosting, content and SEO services.
  • Do you have a specific deadline for the website design (first draft, second draft and final design)? Letting your designer know what your time frame is will allow them to work on their schedules, too. Let’s face it, you’re not the only one who needs their services. Additionally, if you have a flexible time frame, inform your designer as well.
  • If you want to get the results that you desire, you need to give your web designer a definite budget – or a budget range. Let them know how much you are willing to spend and if you can provide additional cash in case it is needed. Don’t be afraid to specify your exact budget on the RPF. An RPF is not an introductory or minute thing. It is what you need in order to find the best designer for your website design or development.
  • Know and specify who your target audience is as this will help your designer come up with a design that’s specifically made for them. Let the designer know whose attention you want to capture. Who do you want to see your website? Who do you envision visiting and using it a lot? Letting the designer know what you think your target audience will want to see can help them come up with an effective and efficient design that will satisfy your target audience’s needs and expectations.
  • To help your designer visualize what you want for your website, don’t just describe things in writing. Find a way to give them a “clearer picture” of your vision. You can do this by searching for designs that are similar to what you like. Then give your designer the links to these designs. Be sure to include notes or side comments so the designer will have an idea of which elements in the samples you really prefer.

Finally, do not forget to include your company’s contact details (email or snail mail address, telephone number, social media accounts, etc). Be sure to also indicate who the designer’s main point of contact will be. It can either be you or someone in the company who’s in-charge of marketing – or both.

It can also be very important for you and the web designer to sit down and talk. You should be given the chance to ask questions, while the designer should have the opportunity to present their plans for the website.  You should always ask the designer to show you samples of their work.

 

An RFP should be made to fit the specific needs of a website, so you have to work on it like it was your baby. Your RFP should be easy to understand and as accurate as possible. Be sure to include all the necessary details you want. By coming up with a concrete, brief but concise RFP, you’ll get the results you desire.

Photo courtesy of searchresultsmedia.

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What is Responsive Web Design? Check out our Video.

The majority of the websites we design today are “mobile responsive.” We’ve found that it can sometimes be difficult to explain responsive functionality to clients. Please see our video on what responsive design is, how it works and why it will benefit you. If you have any questions, or are interested in a responsive website? Contact us.

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Understanding Parallax Style Website Design and How it Works

Every time something new is introduced, like a word or title, people often misunderstand it. Parallax, for example, is not a new disease or some sort of medication. It’s a style used for designing websites and it’s not an entirely new idea. In fact, the parallax effect has been around for years. Since the 1980s, it has played a role in video gaming. Moreover, animators have been using the parallax effect since the 1940s.

Using parallax for designing websites, however, is a new concept.

What is Parallax?

Parallax is a word that means “alteration” in Greek (parallaxis). In web designing, its concept was derived from the effects created by 2D video games. These games had an illusion of depth as a result of the background image’s different movement speeds. So when gamers play, they see a background that looks really far away.

In website designing, parallax is used to create visual effects. The site’s background moves at a different speed; at a speed slower than the foreground. This is what produces stunning effects, which allow for more creative freedom, especially for websites that sell products, services and ideas.

In simpler terms, a parallax scrolling website design involves the changing or moving of background images on a site. So when someone scrolls through the website, the user has the illusion that he or she moves along with the website.

What are the Benefits of Parallax Scrolling?

Using the parallax concept and design opens up many opportunities for websites.

  • With the creativity and uniqueness of the site, more visitors will stay longer and browse through all the site’s page/s. Bounce rate decreases.
  • Website becomes more visually appealing and engaging. More and more users will become curious and will eventually check out what more the site can offer.
  • Because of dynamic, interactive viewing capacity, user experience becomes better and website credibility increases.
  • Parallax scrolling is creativity at its finest. Users and visitors will be more compelled to check out and go through the site’s content.
  • Parallax makes it easier to encourage call to action.
  • The “wow!” factor: Because of the quality of animation and illusion of depth, users and visitors will find the website more appealing.

How to Use Parallax for Designing Websites

Parallax scrolling can be used in website design through the following methods:

  • The Layer Method: Layering or using more than one layer for the background and foreground elements. The multiple background layers can be independently scrolled in two directions: vertical and horizontal. Once a game changes the positions of the layers, it creates a parallax effect.
  • The sprite method: Creating a single image by combining images in pseudo-layers of sprites (2D images).
  • The raster method: An image’s lines of pixels are composited and refreshed starting from the top, down to the bottom.
  • The repeating pattern or animation method: Individual tiles come out as “floating” over a background layer that repeats. This is done by animating the bitmaps of the individual tiles.

Most websites use these methods along with CSS3, jQuery, HTML5, JavaScript, and of course, graphics design to create the parallax effect.

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Whitespace: The Secret Ingredient to a Great Looking Website

google-whitespace

Having a website that looks good is important if you want to create a strong impact on the online community. Website designers know this. This should also be a primary concern of website owners. Therefore, it is essential to focus on elements that help make websites pleasing and user-friendly – elements like whitespace.

What is Whitespace?

Majority of website owners do not really know what a whitespace is. And if they do, they have no idea just how important it is for their website especially in terms of layout.

Whitespace is the space or portion between screen elements. In simpler terms, whitespace refers to that area where there is absence of text and/or graphics. This space is normally left untouched so that a webpage comes out smooth, organized and elegant. Often known as “negative space”, this portion does not necessarily have to be white – it can be colored or textured. As long as it is free of elements (whether text, images, or graphics – it doesn’t matter), it is a whitespace.

Why Does Whitespace Matter?

Website designers know that whitespace is the key to having a great and user-friendly website. Here are reasons why:

  1. Whitespace means better legibility and readability.

    Whitespace make websites easier on the eyes. In other words, it is more legible and more readable. While it is true that choosing the right font style, font size and color, text structure, and other similar elements, whitespace plays an important role because it determines the way the elements are arranged. For example, if the paragraphs are aligned, they will look more organized and, therefore, easier to read. If there are spaces in between paragraphs, the page will look lighter. If paragraphs are not separated by whitespace, they will look like tombstones. Anything that looks neat and is easy to digest is user-friendly.

    If whitespace is properly used, even if a website has a lot of text, the page won’t look too stuffed or crowded.

  2. Whitespace draws attention to the right element.

    A perfect example of this is Google’s homepage. It’s just one big white space with the word “Google” and the search box in the middle. The whitespace makes it easy for users to focus their attention towards the “search” function, which is what Google is primarily for.

  3. Whitespace delivers elegance in the simplest way.

    It’s true what many people say, simplicity is beauty especially when it comes to website design. And this is precisely what whitespace offers: simplicity that equates to beauty, to elegance and sophistication.

    Compare these two webpages: one has a large photo of a girl wearing red dress in the middle of the page. The words “Red for Valentine” are printed below the photo. The other page has the same photo, but it occupies the whole page. The same texts are used, but this time they are placed inside a box above the photo in big, bold letters. Which one looks cluttered? Which one appears simpler but more elegant? The first one, of course! That’s the magic that whitespace can do.

    A lot of expensive brands use whitespace in their ads and websites because it conveys balance, style and sophistication.

So, if you’re trying to build a website that creates waves, don’t be afraid to use whitespace. Embrace it. It might be your best weapon yet.

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The Importance of Posting a Video on Your Website for Good SEO

seo-video

Why do websites with videos perform better than those with static content?  Why are videos now considered valuable SEO tools? To find the answers to these questions, we need to understand why videos are preferred by more people.

Reason Number One: Interactive and Informative

A lot of people prefer to watch videos than just look at photos or read write ups. Videos are more interesting and fun. It’s like comparing the experience of actually watching a movie and hearing about it from someone else. Videos allow site visitors to actually see what you have to offer.

Many website developers also use videos to make their site more interactive. This helps draw a lot of attention and interest. You can use videos to introduce a new product or service, and ask visitors to share opinions about what they saw. This will generate some buzz about that particular product or service.

Reason Number Two: More Engaging Content

Videos are more engaging compared to static content. This is why people prefer to watch videos rather than read write ups. They find videos easier to relate to. They like watching more than simply reading something.

If your site’s content is engaging, it can sustain the interest of your visitors. Since videos are a more popular way of sharing information, they will add more spice to your website and many will be enticed to see what you have to offer.

Videos make your visitors stay longer on your site, thus reducing your bounce rate. This means majority of the people who visit your site actually browse through your content and pages. The more time a visitor stays on one page, the better value your site gets.

How to Make Videos Work to Your Website’s Advantage 

Increasing your website’s rank is the main purpose of search engine optimization (SEO). But with videos attracting a significant number of visitors to stay longer in your site, SEO won’t be a problem anymore. It is, however, important to make sure that the videos you create and post have a lasting ands engaging effect on your visitors. It is important to keep your visitors interested in every video that you place on your website.

Here are some things you should keep in mind if you want your videos to boost your site’s traffic:

  • Everytime you post a video, be sure that it is accompanied by a keyword rich label.
  • Let your audience know what the video is about. Use relevant keywords in describing your videos.
  • In some cases, especially when the video is for explaining certain product or service uses, it is imperative for you to transcribe what is being said. As always, be mindful of your keyword use.
  • Find a proper way of linking your video posts to your website’s other pages. Avoid using generic phrases like “click this link” or “click here”. Be more creative in order to entice visitors. Use something more descriptive like “Whiten your skin in 3 easy steps!” or “Enrich your life now!”.
  • Use relevant keywords when you name your video.
  • Do not forget to submit all the videos you post to your site map. This is important if you want search engines like Google to easily find your pages.
  • For the purpose of reaching a wider audience, do not hesitate to share your site’s videos to video sharing and social networking websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

 

Videos work because they can show visitors what your site is really all about. They don’t just tell; they show. Visitors can get an inside look at what they can get out of their visit. With more people going to and staying on your site, your online presence improves and your ranking increases. And that is what good SEO is all about!

Screenshot courtesy of Mashable.

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How to Write Website Copy With Both Personality and SEO In Mind

How to Write Website Copy With Both Personality and SEO In Mind

Building a brand online is not easy as there are a lot of factors you need to consider. Your ability to adjust or adapt to the right factors will determine your success level. This is especially true when you are creating website content. Nowadays, it is not enough to just concentrate on SEO (search engine optimization); it is also important to develop content that engages and earns the trust of visitors. How can this be done?

Developing engaging content means creating a website copy with personality. While some of your visitors prefer news type content, others like short but informative ones. There are some who prefer testimonials, statistical and factual content and dramatic stories. These are the different personalities you need to pay attention to.

Does Personality Matter? 

The answer to this question is a big YES! While it is difficult to please everybody at the same time, knowing the four major personality types and structuring your content around them will help you attract the niche you set your eyes on.

If you build your content in such a way that it caters to your visitors’ personalities, they will find it useful and engaging because you talk about their needs, wants and goals. Your website content will become a hit because it shows that you care about your visitors.

Since there are different personality types, your goal is to appeal to and focus on the majority. This is the best way to build a good relationship with your target niche and regular visitors.

How Can This Be Done?

  • Targeting your market’s personality means knowing the four major types. This is the first thing you need to do. The four major personality types are the analytical, the driver, the amiable and the expressive. These personalities are determined based on their response to situations.
  1. An analytical person loves to analyze and focuses on details. He doesn’t care too much about the outcome. He has low assertive and responsive characteristics.
  2. A driver – one who likes to push and get results because he is impatient – is highly assertive but is not that responsive.
  3. Amiable personalities are highly responsive but not assertive. They put a high value on relationships and believe that how a product helps people is more important.
  4. An expressive person does a lot of talking and less listening. He finds great value in how others perceive him. He cares more about his feelings. He has a high level of assertiveness and responsiveness.

Your goal is to find out which of these personality types dominate your target niche. Take note of their characteristics and work your content around it. For example, if majority of your target visitors have amiable personalities, write a lot of stories and testimonials. Be sensitive. Interact with them. An analytical audience means inserting a lot of facts and details about how your product or brand works. Formulate content around this.

  • The second step is to create content that matters. To stay true to SEO rules, there are some things you should keep in mind:
  1. Avoid using big words. You are not writing an academic paper or a scientific review. You don’t have to sound intelligent and all knowing. You only need to know what you are talking about. A lot of readers get turned off by big, fancy words.
  2. Write as if you are simply talking to someone; like you are in a casual conversation. This makes it easier for your audience to listen to and understand you.
  3. Insert not only facts, but also humor and opinions. Let your readers or visitors know that you care about them by telling a story they can relate to. Storytelling is something that easily engages people. Make them feel good about visiting your site. Be as original as you can be.
  4. Make sure that your content is helpful. This is where you insert some SEO stuff. Use links that direct them to pages on your website that they’ll find helpful. Use keywords, but do not overstuff your content with them. Informative and catchy title tags will also help.

Follow these tips and you won’t have to worry about losing visitors on your website.

Photo courtesy of ed_needs_a_bicycle.

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Five Tips for Making an Exceptional Website Design

Five Tips for Making an Exceptional Website Design

In the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you do not stop once your website starts generating traffic. In fact, establishing your online presence is just the start of the journey. Your next task is to make sure that the traffic on your website stays.

One way of doing this is by reducing the bounce rate on your site. This means that you’ll have to work on something that will make your visitors stay and navigate through the pages of your website, not just enter the site and then leave. So what should you do? Improve your website. Make sure that visitors will like what they see – because first impressions almost always matter.

Here are five tips to help you come up with an exceptional website design, one that will make your visitors want to visit your site everyday.

Tips for an Exceptional Website Design

1.     Spice up your site’s overall look.

It is important for your visitors to like what they see the first time they enter your site. Thus, you should pay careful attention to the

  • colors,
  • typography and
  • layout style.

The number one rule in choosing colors is to avoid using or mixing too many different shades. Don’t try to create a rainbow out of your website. Visitors will find the jumble of colors too messy for their eyes. Use just two to four colors. And make sure they don’t contrast each other. Go with conservative colors.

Content is an important element in creating attractive websites, but if you do not use the proper fonts, font sizes and colors, every entry on your site will be put to waste. The rule is to make your website as legible as possible. Don’t choose black text for a dark background. In addition, to make your visitors’ reading experience convenient, use section headers and bullet lists. Avoid long paragraphs as they tend to bore a lot of people. Make your paragraphs short and precise. As most content specialists would say “KISS!” – Keep it short and simple!

Font should be easy to read, so avoid using those that appear illegible or too complex. If possible, use only one or two font styles so that your text will flow easily and everything will be easy to read.

Proper organization is the secret to a good layout. Don’t put too much in one space or page as this can create confusion for some visitors. To avoid clutter, follow the grid format in arranging the elements of your page. This will not only make your site easy on the eyes, it will also make navigation a breeze.

Use just one layout for the whole website. Also, allow your pages to breathe. So don’t be afraid of white spaces.

Along with colors, typography and a good layout, the kind of animation/graphics and media that you use will also matter. Do not use animation just because you think it looks cool; or because it’s what everyone else is doing. Think of your content and the message that you want to convey. Does it require you to use Flash animation? Or video? Or background music? Use only what’s necessary. Remember, less is more. Too much is distracting.

Putting large media sizes can also drive away visitors because they take time to load. The same thing goes for background music.

2.     Choose and use proper images.

Make sure that the photos you use are those of real people doing real things. In other words, as much as possible, stay away from stock photos! Your pictures have to tell a story or carry a message. That is why you need to choose them well.

Moreover, take note of some things before posting photos on your website:

  • The image size should not be too big. Large images tend to load slowly and your visitors might not be willing to wait for the photo/s to come out.
  • Use only animated GIFs if they are relevant to your website and the information you are sharing. Some people find GIFs distracting, especially when they are trying to read something on your page.
  • Make sure that you use only high quality images, not the blurred or out-of-focus ones.
  • If you plan to post links to images, make sure that they work. Visitors will be disappointed if they find out that the link you provided is broken.
  • Use the “alt” tag in case your image fails to load.

3.     Have a convenient navigation system.

Visitors want a website that they can easily navigate when looking for information. Make the user experience truly worthwhile by using a simple navigation system that does not require too many clicks or too many pages to open.

Be sure to put a search box on the top portion of your site as this will help visitors easily find the information they need using keywords. Your site’s footer should also include navigation. And to help your visitors keep track, use breadcrumb trail on each page.

4.     Improve your content. It should deliver your message.

Yes, you’ve heard it said time and time again: “Content is king!” If your website looks good but the content does not tell visitors anything new or important, your site won’t work. Good content is equivalent to relevance, proper grammar and organization, the correct choice of words, and clear and concise structure. You wouldn’t want to visit a site that uses broken English and garbage talk to explain things, would you?

Why is content important? Simple. Because content is the information that the visitors need. Imagine yourself navigating through a website for dog lovers and then finding only information about weight loss pills in the pages. How would you feel? Terrible, right? You wouldn’t want that to happen to your visitors.

To prevent this from happening, make sure that you only post content that’s relevant to your site, Furthermore, it has to be content with proper spelling and grammar. Check and double check your content before posting it on your site. There are a lot of online grammar and spelling checkers. Use them to your advantage.

Most of all, do not copy content or use content that’s owned by somebody else. There are copyright laws that protect the owners. If you want to use part of an article or review, cite the source. The same thing should be done to photos.

5.     Stay consistent!

Consistency is the name of the game. Be consistent in the design of every page of your website. This means you should maintain regularity with regard to the colors, font styles & sizes, layout, organization, navigation and placement. It’s better to use just one color, layout and font structure for all pages.  This will help leave an image and permanent impression on your visitors.

When designing a website, remember that you are not the star of the show. The visitors, your intended audience, are. Therefore, you should create your website with them in mind: their needs, their preferences, what’s convenient for them and what will satisfy them. Only when you understand this will you be able to come up with an exceptional website design.

Photo courtesy of erokCom.

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