||Think of how many times have
you visited a site to and got lost along the path and have no idea how you
got their or how you get back to the home page without typing in the URL
again? Apply this simple rule to the structure of your site - it should
never take more than three clicks to get from any one page to any other.
The "Back" button should never have to used as the default navigation
||Avoid the temptation to use
multiple color backgrounds with equally colorful fonts. You may like it
but the chances are there will be many more that don't! And there are a
very limited number of successful combinations of colored fonts on colored
backgrounds - your visitor may not be able to read your carefully crafted
copy at all.
||Unless your site is actually
designed to appeal to be all about music resist the temptation to provide
sound on your site just because you can. If you are going to provide music
do so as a clickable link. Not built in as background music. Someone working
in an office certainly does not want music blaring out unexpectedly!
Use of Frames
|| Frames are great at making navigation
simple and quick but more than three will work against this. Use two for navigation
and one for content. Avoid scroll bars and borders on frames, they're highly
| Use Links Without
||Most webmasters will check
every link both within the site and external links before their site is
launched. But do they check regularly when the site is up on the Web? External
links should be checked every week. If your site has many links you can
purchase software to check these links.
| Use Browser Specific
|| Avoid the
temptation to use the latest in animated graphics or cursors if it means
that it only works with one browser and you have to put the phrase "Best
viewed with ..... browser" or if some plig-in is required to see it.
You will not only turn away many would-be visitors but alienate them as
well if they perceive that you don't like their favorite browser.
| Copy & Paste
|| Don't just take content from your
brochures or other company literature and try to replicate it on your web site.
The Web is a different medium and visitors view it differently. Think about
the message you want to convey and how to convey it in a medium where content
must be sparse but full of impact.|
| Show Your Web Site
as Under Construction
|| And don't put a date on it.
If you have extensive design work to do just put up a home page with your
company logo, a description of the business you are in, what sets you apart
from similar businesses and contact details with a phone number. This can
be done quickly, may get picked up by some of the search engines. Once this
is done you can build the rest of the site over time and provide links to
the additional content.|
| Design for
1024 X 768
| Or greater. There are still many people
using a screen resolution of 800 x 600 (some still in 640 x 480). To get predictable
results design in 800 x 600 and the vast majority of visitors will be happy|
a Million Colors
|| There are only 216 "Web
safe" colors that can be used that will be seen in the same way by
both Windows and Mac users. This means that if you want to be sure that
a visitor using a Mac and a visitor using a PC actually see the same thing
you need to stick to web safe colors for your backgrounds and for the color
content of graphical buttons etc.
|KISS - Keep It Simple Silly
||You have 30 seconds to gain
interest - maximum! Graphic files, music banners, etc. increase download
times and can make navigation difficult or confusing. Simplicity is difficult!
Web surfers are in general an impatient lot. If the page takes too long
to load - CLICK - they're out of there!
|Tell Your Visitors Who and Where You Are
||You will be amazed just how
many corporations and organizations don't include their address or phone
number anywhere on their site. Have they got something to hide? An e-mail
address is not enough - if I want something now I want to pick up the phone
and if your competitor provides their number and you don't, guess who I'm
going to call? If your web site is easy to update then include contact names
wherever possible - people want to know who it is that can help them.
|Focus on Content
||Content is king. It must be meaningful to your target audience. It must be up to date. It must be interesting.
| Make it Easy to Navigate
|| A good site should be easy to use with everything clearly labeled. It should be easy to see where you are and get back to the site home page. Group pages in a logical way so that they are easy to use. Get someone who knows little about your business and nothing about your site to test how easy it is to find a particular piece of information.
| Update Regularly
||Change your web site regularly to keep your regular visitors interested and coming back. The web is dynamic and ever changing - the software to manage your site must allow for ease of update.
| Make Your Visitors Welcome
|| Treat visitors to your site as guests. Welcome them - value them. Thank them for completing your response form. Thank them for ordering. Tell them you value them. Keep them on your site for as long as possible.
| Use Graphics Carefully
|| Keep graphic file sizes small
for speed of download. Preferably no more than 25k per image and 125K per
page. Software is available to help you reduce graphic file sizes. If you
use thumbnails to link to larger images actually reduce the thumbnail image
size. DO NOT simply use the height and width parameters
in the image tag to reduce the displayed size.
| Use Common Fonts
|| Use commonly used fonts such as Arial and Verdana. The font a visitor sees in the browser depends on what they have installed on their machine.
| Keep Pages Bite Sized
|| Reading information on screen
is not the same as reading from a book. Keep text in manageable chunks.
If you have a large document that you want to publish make it downloadable
instead of trying to display it online.
|Check Your Copy
|| Do make sure that you proof
read everything - preferably have it read by three people who can spell
and know their grammar. Spell checkers are only a partial answer as they
won't pick up correct words used in inappropriately , such as "to" , "too"