It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another edition of Construction Websites Deconstructed. Today, I am going to give you tips on what to look out for during the design phase of your website. The following checklist is going to cover design elements you should consider when sitting down with a site designer or if you are doing it yourself. Here goes!
What you need to look for:
No animated graphics – This isn’t web 1.0, no clapping monkeys or waving flags, no matter how patriotic you are!
Black Text, white background – We have grown up reading black on white. Don’t make it hard for your readers to read your site with crazy color combinations because you think it looks good or matches the company colors. If people can’t read the content then what do you think they are going to do…leave, that’s what!
Clean layout – Just like your print ads, you want enough “whitespace” to avoid a cluttered and unorganized look.
Select a font, and then stick to it – I use two fonts for this blog, one for headlines, one for body text, and I never mix them up. For example, my headlines are ALWAYS Arial Black and my body copy is ALWAYS Georgia.
Ease of navigation – You want to make sure your site has a logical progression leading readers to your ultimate goal of getting them to fill out a form, email or call you.
Contact form – This is an absolute must. You HAVE to have a contact form on each page of your site. To accomplish this, you can add a small form from MailChimp in the sidebar so prospects can submit their information whenever the mood strikes them! And don’t get greedy about the info you try to collect. More on that next week.
Another point about fonts – Use fonts that are web-friendly. Some common fonts used on the web are Arial, Veranda and Times New Roman.
Keep content close together – The main text area of my blog is 500 pixels wide. Which helps keep the content close enough so your eyes don’t have to do a lot of searching for text, allowing you to subconsciously absorb more of the content easier.
I will continue with design elements next Friday, but if you want to get a head start, I can’t recommend “Don’t Make Me Think” highly enough for those of you designing your site on your own. In it, the Author talks about how to make sure your site is set up for optimum use by your visitors. It really is one of the best reads on site design on the market, so I hope you get it.