Web Design – First Impressions May Be Your Last
The perfect web page is not only nice to look at, but is easy to use. Most web visitors stay only seconds before they leave your site. That is one sad fact you must come to terms with. There is no second chance for a first impression, as they say. You must grab their attention and hold it.
Here are some of the most often overused designs you will come across and ones you may do well to avoid.
Music has become so overused and misused that it is downright annoying. If a visitor hires music without requesting to hear it, they may leave. If they again hear the same music on each page they visit, you can bet it will not be long before they will be gone forever. If you have a music site and have samples for visitors to listen to, that is another story, but at least give them the option to turn it off or on at will. Do not force them to listen. Personally, I leave my speakers off because I am sick of the whole thing. I especially hate it when a person on-screen starts talking to me when I did not hit the play button. In addition, music takes longer to load and the visitor may leave before the music ever comes up because they are tired of waiting.
Pop up windows used to be cute; used to be. Now I find them another of the oh- so- annoying attempts to get you to sign up or buy something. I realize we are all in this business to make money and we all must use the devices available to us, but use some common sense and do not beat people over the head with all of theses techniques at once, a little goes a long way .
Here are some essential practices to follow:
Give your visitor an easy way to find what they are looking for by including a navigation menu, a site map and sometimes even a search bar if you have a lot of information on your site.
Pay attention to the font size so that your pages are easily read. Too large of a type makes for a strange looking page and too small makes people squint or worse yet, leave altogether.
Do not use strange color combinations unless your site is all about art or very esoteric. Black background with white type for example you will see but I can barely stand to look at it!
Take care not to over-use images and be careful of their file size. Large file sizes make pages load slow and you are then faced with the same situation, people leaving before the page loads. Most image editing programs have the ability to reduce file size.
Be sure every link in your site is working. It also goes without saying that you must test every link on your site before you place the site on the web. Broken links are a sure sign of sloppy work.
Make more paragraph breaks than you normally would in a written paper. This makes it easier to scroll and read and keeps your visitor on the page.
Check your site in different browsers as they do not all have the same. . The most important is Internet Explorer, but many people prefer Mozilla Firefox as well as others.
Hire A Designer?
You can see that there is a lot to think of when it comes to web design. There are many ways to get a simple web site up quickly. Many hosts have web templates that you upload images to and type directly into the page. This is fine for an informal site and for the initial learning phase, but soon becomes old and looks the same as everyone else. You can buy software designed for this purpose which is what most people often do, or you can hire a designer if you have the funds and lack the desire or the time to learn yourself.
If you are a business owner, for example and are using the website to sell products you will have many things to do rather than spending countless hours learning the process of web design. There is a time to hire a designer and this makes sense not to waste all your time doing everything in your business. After all, you can not be the bookkeeper, the human resource manager, the warehouse manger and the web designer! You need to concentrate on the big picture. If on the other hand you are a work at home business, you may find it helpful and sometimes necessary to do everything yourself.
No matter which way you choose to go, remember the design of your website is the most important first impression you may ever make and perhaps the last.