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Thread: Design tips for new web designers...

  1. #11
    It's a good idea to include a set of text-only navigation links at the bottom of your website pages.

    It helps visitors find their way around on your site and encourages them to continue moving through the rest of your site after they've reached the bottom of the page.

    It's also very important at the bottom of longer pages. After reading large blocks of text, sometimes visitors forget where they are or where they want/need to go next.

  2. The following user agrees with SyrenSong:
  3. #12
    I'm no master, but I'd like to share something I did when I first started developing my site. This goes along with what mik said and is especially helpful if you have a very large site with a whole lot of information to organize.

    When I began the development of my website, I started with a notebook and a pencil...and later an industrial strength pencil sharpener to keep up with me. As I had been planning the site in my head for weeks, there was a lot of information floating around up there.

    The first thing I did was write down everything that came to mind about the site I wanted to build. I didn't concern myself with spelling, logic, grammar, etc. I just let it flow. Several pages later I had a whole lot of ideas, goals and information to sort out.

    Next, I went through and cleaned it up a bit. I completed the sentences that initially came out as a scribbled thought, I rewrote the things that I could barely read, and so on.

    Then, I drew out a "spider chart". I remember doing these in school. It's where you start with a circle in the middle of the page, in which you write the central thought/idea to be worked out. In this case, it was "Website/Directory of Wholesale Suppliers". Next I drew lines from this central idea to some empty circles. I then wrote in each of those circles what major things I wanted to do/convey through the site. From each of those circles I drew more lines to even more circles. In those I wrote things that went with the thought it stemmed from. I continued until the page was full of lines and circles and, lo and behold, the beginning stages of a structure for all that information.

    Because I had done the "brainstorming" exercise first I was able to more clearly realize what it was I wanted to attain. When it came time to make the spider chart I had everything I needed to fill in all those circles.

    After that, I just took each group of items and further developed them. Each of the initial circles became major pages in the site and the sub-circles became branches off those pages. Sure, I reworked my diagram several times but this gave me the start I needed to organize all those ideas I had in my head.

    I hope this helps someone! Best of luck to you!
    Wholly Wholesale - Wholesale Auctions - Hidden Content - eCommerce Store Directory - Hidden Content - A Guide for Retailers - Hidden Content

  4. The following user agrees with Leisa:
  5. #13

    7 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website

    "7 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website"

    The article is targeted to the web developers from Nepal. However, I believe it is useful for anyone. Take a look at

  6. The following user agrees with bin79:
  7. #14

    Be consistant!

    First off remember that I am not perfect, nor do I claim to be the best at anything, but here are some thoughts on this subject.

    My number one rulle it to be consistant! Be consistant with your navigation and be consistant with your design "scheme."

    Most visitors are not to bright, so if you make it hard for them to find the navigation then they will simply leave. It should always be in the same place on every page and look the same. People are creatures of habit and if they have to relearn on every page then they will simply run away.

    Don't change the design on every page! This again confusses people and they will feel lost and likely leave.

    Further pet peeves! I mean suggestions...

    Stop using backgrounds under text! They have to be able to read it! Beginners should stay as far away from most backgrounds, including solid colors, as possible. White is your firends and unless you are addicted to light neon and pale pink will be much more forgiving! Until your sure of what you are doing, it is really best to work on white, without backgrounds. Sadly FrontPage makes it to easy to do this.

    I could be a grumpy old guy on this subject for days and days. Now seems like a good time to just shut up!
    Timothy A. Keneipp
    Managing Member/Designer
    TAK Designs, LLC
    PO Box 418
    Baker City, OR 97814
    Hidden Content
    Hidden Content

    Professional design services for
    web, print and branding.

  8. The following user agrees with tkeneipp:
  9. #15
    Please don't "shut up", tkeneipp! LOL!

    Those were some excellent points you contributed to the discussion. I'm sure lots of folks will benefit from those pointers. :)

  10. The following user agrees with SyrenSong:
  11. #16

    Study first...

    I am going to add something here again...

    I would encourage you to take some time and study traditional design principles. They for the most part (99%) still apply even when designing on line. Go to you local book store or library and read or peruse all the books on graphic design. Subscribe to publications like, Communications Art, How and Print to see real pros in action and do not fear to emulate them.

    Focus on a good design first, then worry about coding and SEO. You will gain much more by doing that than you will by slapping something on the web and loosing potential customers because it does not work. Remember that is easier to get a new visitor that to get one back that had a bad first impression.
    Timothy A. Keneipp
    Managing Member/Designer
    TAK Designs, LLC
    PO Box 418
    Baker City, OR 97814
    Hidden Content
    Hidden Content

    Professional design services for
    web, print and branding.

  12. The following user agrees with tkeneipp:
  13. #17

    my .02

    Just adding my two cents here.. lots of invaluable advice but something that was mentioned but not in great detail is color.. we as humans are visual people. Most of us could care less what the page says if it's psychadelic pinks and purples that make our eyes hurt.. or too bright. It will be closed before we even read the title. Make sure that not only your text and layout convey your message but your color schemes..

    And not just matching.. I don't want to go to a site where everything is PINK.. even if it is called "Pretty in PInk"

    Contrasts help bring the focus on parts that you want your viewers to see first, colors that help them feel. If there is too much.. then they focus nowhere. Use your images in ways that match your message.. not just ones that look "cool".

    Think about how you feel when you see reds, greens, yellows etc. and try and match moods:)

    Something that has helped me more times than I can count is to watch nature.. Nature has such a wonderful way of matching colors and making you feel awesome.

    Another good way is to watch around town at signs, flags, billboards, you name it. Watch the ones that stand out to you. Think back to commercials on tv that you remember most or that appealed to you and think about why they did.

    A website is not just something to be read.. it is to be felt by the audience just like a good movie, poem, book or more except you have much less time to capture your audience:)
    Stacy-Lead Designer

    Hidden Content

  14. The following user agrees with sajdlz:
  15. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    I'd just like to mention something here thats really important to my design but hasn't been included that much so far..

    getting all your concepts on paper like the spider idea is great but you cant stop there!!

    take your concepts from graphics and do all your work on a pad of paper!! this is everything from your brainstorming, to your concept sketches to your final design. invest in some colour pencils to find out what colour scheme looks best. once you've got it on paper then build it.. dont fluff around for hours tittling between different tables and colours. have it all set out already.

    the best advice i can give is paper.. having your entire site in front of you with all your tables marked out and exact dimensions will save you an amazing amount of time and wasted effort.

    plus ive found it stops me from beating my comp to death some nights! lol its much easier to critique your work on paper (ut it on the floor and look from a distance) than what you've been struggling on screen to achieve.

    well thats my 2pence!!

    oh and another thing.. keep your code clean. comment tags are your friend!! especially when you muck up and have to go in there and fix it later!

  16. The following user agrees with aimz:
  17. #19

    Thread split

    Hi all,

    Just a note to let you all know I have split the commments & thanks posted in this thread to a separate thread so we can keep all the "hints" & ideas posted together (and as brief as possible).

    The comments thread can be found here...
    Hidden Content - overdue for overhaul
    Hidden Content - where I write CSS & XHTML these days
    "insert witty remark here... when I think of one..."

  18. The following user agrees with masterpeace:
  19. #20

    What makes a GREAT site

    It's all changed since the old WOW days and it seems to be settling firmly in favor of "Ergonomic" design.(Even though it still wows me now,). Wow is not what it's all about.

    Don't get me wrong. You still need a well designed site.

    So what's ergonomic?

    Ergonomic simply means fitting into the environment and there is definately an internet invironment that has manifested itself during our short history.

    This site you're on is what is called ergonomic. Simple, easy to navigate with lots of depth. But most importantly "SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY".

    I know! you have a son, daughter or friend that knows how to put a site together. Or even worse you did it yourself. Not that there's anything wrong with that if you know the rules of ergonomic design.

    Here are a few to get you started.

    1. look at other great ergonomicly designed sites.

    2. Get a good designer or at least a good page editing program. There are a lot out there. GoLive is Abobe's solution that is easy to learn and works well with other Adobe programs.

    3. Take another look at some ergonomic designs.

    4. Copy. Yes copy. That way you can't let your own ideas spoil a good design. Your content is what's going to make the difference.

    5. Use type instead of graphics were posible. Most search engines only recognize the first three alt text tags on a page. It will hurt your search ratings.

    6. Use a great hosting service that allows you to create depth. You will need a database and all the user toys: Forums, Blogger, Affiliate programs, Chat, etc etc. I recommend one through my site. It's only $95 for the year with 800Mb space, db, 5 subdomains, etc. etc. plus the toys. I have 8 sites of my own here and you even get $50 in clicks from Overture.

    7. Use css syles. Css styles are cascading style sheets. They are really easy to learn and your site's text will look consistent on everyones screen. This site uses css styles. (try making the type size larger, View> Text size> Largest). Golive handles them really well.

    8. Use rich text and relevant Meta keywords, site description etc. It will pay dividends. DON'T TRY TO FOOL THE SEARCH ENGINES. It will hurt you.

    I hope this helped someone but if not, email me and I'll fill in any gaps you may have or better still post your question here.

    <Mod edit - post merged into "tips" thread - Masterpeace>
    "Working it as we speak" Hidden Content Designing the future today. Tomorrow if I'm real busyHidden Content Hidden Content Newest site: Hidden Content

  20. The following user agrees with johnmcm:

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