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Thread: 2004 Website Design Do's and Dont's

  1. #11
    Senior Member cooper's Avatar
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    Re: Splash Pages

    Quote Originally Posted by btreloar
    DON't use flash splash pages that take more than a second or two and don't have a "skip intro" option!
    I would disagree as it depends on the content of the site. If your site is a business oriented site then yes, drop the Flash intro in favor of getting the visitor directly to the information they are seeking.

    However, if your site has, for example, more of an entertainment focus then a Flash intro might be appropriate. It's up to the site owner and/or developer. And if you DO have a Flash intro make sure you have a way for the visitor to skip ahead to the next page/screen/frame/etc. It's the kindest approach to navigation so a returning visitor doesn't have to sit through the intro again and again and again and again, ad naseum...
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  2. #12

    Do's and Don'ts

    Very Simple List

    Do
    Use a target="blank" for any links that are not under your domain. This is a good way to lose visitors.

    Use Whitespace to your advantage if it is one of the best visual indicators around

    Make sure it works in both Netscape and IE, even though Netscape is falling off why would you want to alienate any of your potential users

    Make sure your homepage clearly states what your business is, I have been to so many sites that are very ambiguous and instead of me finding out what it is I just leave the site

    Don't
    Use huge images as links (including rollovers). Yeah it may look cool but download time is a huge problem.

    Use a cool new technology just because it looks good, it should fit ur site

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  3. #13
    Senior Member zbatia's Avatar
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    The most important factor to consider is usability.

    Our first web site was designed around TV screen with a 'remote control' as a menu. The web surfers liked the unique design but complained that to find the needed information is a problem, that many links on the same page repeat each other, that the pages are overloaded with not-so-relevant information.

    Obviously, we have considered those remarks. Now we are working on re-design of our existing web site (version #3) that must be even more user-friendly. Than less "jumping images" you have than easier to read your text and get to the point. If you want to make some accents, do it with smart design (colors, backgrounds, layout). Don't use yellow background to highlight the text. I personally never read the text with yellow highlighted backgrounds. It reminds me all those sale blurbs where in the end of 3 feet page you see the 3-digit price...

    It's time to use CSS and XHTML on every web site but I don't think it's going to happen soon...
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  4. #14
    Senior Member brandblast's Avatar
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    **LOAD TIME**

    The main page of your web site should load in 8 seconds or less with a 56K modem.

    According to two recent surveys, conducted by Forrester Research and Gartner Group, ecommerce sites are losing $1.1 to $1.3 billion in revenue each year due to customers click- away caused by slow loading sites.

    If a page takes too long to load, your potential customer will not wait. Ultimately costing you business.
    Alessandro DeBarros
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  5. #15
    Senior Member brandblast's Avatar
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    A HOMEPAGE WITH A PURPOSE

    Your main page should specifically let your visitors know exactly what you're offering. How many times have you visited a site and never figured out exactly what they were selling?

    If your potential customer can't find your product or service, they definitely won't waste a lot of time looking for it. They'll go on to the next site and probably never return.

    They're visiting your site for a specific purpose. They want something your site offers. Whether it is information, a product or service.
    Alessandro DeBarros
    Account Manager

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  6. #16
    Senior Member brandblast's Avatar
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    A SPLASH OF "THE RIGHT" COLOR

    Be cautious when selecting your background and text colors. Busy backgrounds make text difficult to read and draw the attention away from the text.

    Always be consistent with your background theme on each page of your site. Your site should be nicely organized and uniform throughout. Keep in mind, colors affect your mood and will have an affect on your visitors as well.

    Bright colors such as yellow and orange, cause you to become more cheerful or happy, while colors such as blue and purple have a calming effect.

    Dark colors such as brown and black have a depressing effect. A good rule of thumb would be to use colors based upon the type of effect you're trying to achieve.
    Alessandro DeBarros
    Account Manager

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  7. #17

    Browsers

    In the "don't ignore Netscape" vein, if you have young, free-thinking customers (and we all hope we do), remember that there are important non-IE and non-Netscape browsers out there, namely

    Safari (most Mac OS X users)
    Mozilla Firebird (up and coming browser, already getting users)
    Opera (many users on all platforms)

    In the case of Mac users especially, and also of Linux users, not supporting the browser they want to use is basically telling them "hey, here's a nickel, go buy yourself a better computer, kid." In other words, it's not a good idea, since one customer lost who would have become a regular is a bit price to pay, but you'll lose hundreds. Remember that Mac users have the highest income and education, and spend more online annually than PC users.

    Bottom line, ask a Safari user to check your site, and bother to download Opera and Mozilla's browsers to check your sites.

    Man I am tired of that bearded Google guy smiling at me as I type. You know he's giving us The Eye.

  8. #18

    Oh, one more thing

    PLEASE, care who you accept advertising from. Some advertisers rob you of credibility just by being on your site. If you have a casino ad on your site, guess what? I'm clicking away in 1.2 seconds or less, because it means that all the other decisions you'll have made on the site, including your content, will not be worth anything to me. Our jlist.com site is ostensibly an adult site since we sell adult products, but we don't have a single ad, popup, or even links to other adult sites, which gives us a lot of credibility with customers.

  9. #19
    WebProWorld MVP wenwilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandblast
    A SPLASH OF "THE RIGHT" COLOR

    Be cautious when selecting your background and text colors. Busy backgrounds (and Bright Colors) make text difficult to read and draw the attention away from the text.

    Always be consistent with your background theme on each page of your site. Your site should be nicely organized and uniform throughout. Keep in mind, colors affect your mood and will have an affect on your visitors as well.

    Bright colors such as yellow and orange, cause you to become more cheerful or happy, while colors such as blue and purple have a calming effect.

    Dark colors such as brown and black have a depressing effect. A good rule of thumb would be to use colors based upon the type of effect you're trying to achieve.
    Yellow and orange? Bad choices...... they may be cheerful when dealing with flowers or the newest addition to your home decor... but on a website..... they are the fastest way to give your visitors a headache or even make them sick.

    The one benefit of orange is it will make more expensive items seem affordable and suitable for everyone. But that is only in small amounts.

    Yellow, used in small amounts can be cheerful and inviting. More than a pinch is detrimental. And don't forget, this is the World wide web.... there are different meanings associated to different colors.

    Just remember:

    When light strikes the eye, the different wavelengths do so in different ways; the eye constantly adjusts and long wave colours require the most adjustment. In the retina, they are converted to electrical impulses that pass to the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that governs our hormones and endocrine system.
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  10. #20
    WebProWorld MVP wenwilder's Avatar
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    (A lot of this may be repetitive, but I was never good at editing.)

    The Don'ts

    1. Don't 'guess' who you're trying to reach.
    2. Don't get to technical.
    3. Don't give your customers a headache with your favorite color.
    4. Don't keep content that isn't being read.
    5. Don't repeat the same information on every page.
    6. Don't hide contact information.
    7. Don't use animations.
    8. Don't use multiple fonts.
    9. Don't take control a way from the viewer.
    10. Don't 'bunch up' the text. Space is meant to be used.

    The Do's

    1. Know who your site is designed for - know the demographics.
    2. Know your product.
    3. Do make your site visually pleasing. (Keeping in mind the Don'ts of color) ;)
    4. Do outline the concept of the site before it is created.
    5. Make your prices available.
    6. Keep your site credible.
    7. Ask for input from people who know nothing about your product/service/business.
    8. Use images that portray confidence.
    9. Keep your site translator friendly.
    10. Keep the site consistent throughout.

    Do's and Don'ts is a very long subject. ;)
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