Basic Web Site Design – 4 Elements You Should Avoid
It's sometimes easy to lose track of the reason behind the things you do. This can be particularly true in the case of website building. Sometimes we get so caught up in all the elements and fancy do-dads that we forget it's not about us but about our visitors. Basic web site design is about giving your visitors a positive experience, making it easy for them to quickly understand what your web page is all about, and providing them with the information they came to you seeking.
Unfortunately, a lousy website design can have them leaving with little more than a glance.
So what elements should you avoid as in your basic web site design?
1. Background Music
As temptation as it is to add music to your website, unless you're promoting a band or something music related, you're going to irritate your visitors. First off, not everyone enjoys the same type of music. Second, it can dramatically slow down the time it takes to load your web page. Third, it can interfere with a visitor's ability to concentrate and focus on those elements you want them to focus on, such as your opt-in box or your AdSense ads.
Pop-ups are often overdone, more often ignored, and can easily annoy your visitors. They definitely have their place, however, because they do work. So if you want to use a pop-up to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter or some such thing, I'd suggest you do it as a pop-under, which appears behind the page and is prominent after your visitor has closed your web page. This is not nearly as intrusive. Test it, if you're convinced you need a pop-up to gather more opt-ins.
3. Flash Graphics
Okay, I confess. It's fun to play around with flash graphics, to see all the neat effects you can create. But very rarely do these elements enhance the experience of your visitors. Too often, the people who love to use them do not really know how to use them effectively. And too often, they simply prove to slow down the web page loading and annoy your visitors. If you can not justify the use of flash graphics other than that they look cool, stay away from them.
4. Out of Control Text
You've seen it. We've all seen it. A web page with different font styles, with text that's huge, next to text you can severely read, with red text and blue text and yellow text against a black background. Do you like reading this stuff? Neither do your visitors. Keep your use of text simple. Try to stick to a single font on your web page. Use an h1 tag for your title, and keep the rest of your text at a size that's easy to read and comfortable on the eyes. Use black text (plus blue for links) against a white background. The primary purpose of text is to convey information, not to impress your visitors with your rainbow colors.
The most effective websites are the simplest. Basic web site design is about making the experience of your visitors as pleasant as possible. After all, you want them to come back, do not you?