A well designed website will not only attract many readers but also will help your business grow more than you imagine! When designing you have to respect some basic usability, design and SEO rules in order to make the website successful. Following the 10 rules below will surely help you improve your web designing skills.
1. Use the right fonts
Small, too complicated or fixed fonts may ruin a website. Be careful not to use fonts that are unreadable. The main objective is to make your visitors read your website. Fonts that are too small are also hard to read and almost nobody will use the zoom feature just to try to decipher what is written on your website.
2. Don’t open new browser windows
The main rule is to let the user control where he wants the links to open. Opening up new browser windows may be annoying. There is a big “Back” button on every browser so don’t worry, the user will come back to your website if he wants to.
3. No automatic subscribing.
Sending unsolicited emails is not the best way to advertise. Do not subscribe visitors to your newsletter without their consent. It’s unprofessional and it’s also very likely that you’ll lose your readers.
4. Do not play music.
This is a pretty straightforward rule. Do not use music! Also if you have audio files on your website, let the user start them. The visitor must always be in control.
5. Do not sneak advertising inside the content.
If advertising is important for your website create special dedicated sections just for it. Do not blend it inside your content. This is not only annoying but also not very professional. With time this will lower your number of readers.
6. Make clicked links change color.
This is one important usability rule. Colored clicked links will help the visitor know which pages he already visited and so he won’t get lost on your website by visiting the same page more than once.
7. No horizontal scrolling.
Vertical scrolling is acceptable but of course it has its limits too. On the other hand, horizontal scrolling MUST be avoided. The most used screen resolution is 1024 x 768 pixels so when designing a website make sure it fits inside it.
8. Use only readable CAPTCHA.
Lots of websites use CAPTCHA filters for reducing spam on contact forms or comments. The problem is that most of the time the visitor has to refresh a couple of times before finding a CAPTCHA code that he can actually decipher. This will lower the comments on your website for sure!
9. No registration unless necessary.
Most people just want to get information when browsing the internet and leaving your personal details is most of the times unpleasant. Of course if it’s absolutely necessary and the website is really good, registration won’t be a problem.
10. Do not clutter the website.
Badges, awards, ads all of these may over clutter your website and you’ll lose many readers. It is best to place badges and awards on the “About Us” page.
11. Make your website accessible to people who are impaired (#11 credited to Donna Blumberg)
Make your web site ACCESSIBLE! there are millions of people with various disabilities (vision, hearing, mobility impairments) who depend on technology to make their lives easier….and they use the internet to spend money (e-commerce sites), learn (education) and communicate (social media) and more, just as fully-able people do.
12. Keep consistent navigation structure and palettes throughout all pages (#12 credited to jpetis)
What this means is, do not heavily alter your navigation structure or colors from page to page, or else users will be confused. Keep your breadcrumb and other links all in the same place on all pages so that users can navigate back and forth easily.
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