Web Design Planning

This article is not intented for experienced web designers/web programmers. We just want to share a few DO’s and DON’Ts that would guide you towards a much better web design path.

There are a lot of things you will have to consider in order to come up with better web designs. Just like building a house or simply having it decorated, you need to have a PLAN.

Inside your plan, you will have to consider the following:

  • TARGET AUDIENCE – Know what kind of visitors you’d expect to visit your website. Doing so will allow you to know the kind of look/design you will have to adopt. For older people, you will have to generally keep it simple and focus more on readability — most of them don’t care much about flashy things in your website. They’ll be more focused on textual content.
  • THE GENERAL LOOK – Grab a concept that would best fit your target audience. The internet can provide you with great ideas. The look of your site’s competitors, if there’s any, could be a good source of input in establishing your concept. If someone else owns the site you’re to build, you will have to primarily consider how the owner wants it to look like. They would often suggest designs similar to their competitors. Spend quality time surfing the net, know what the "IN" things are and juice-up your creativity from there.
  • WEIGHT – When designing the look and feel of your site, avoid pouring-in too much graphics. No one wants a site that is over decorated. Besides, too much graphics can tremendously slow down your website. Keep in mind that you want the website to load as quickly as possible. Otherwise, your frustrated visitors might leave your site earlier than expected (bounce rate). Keep your design layout as light as possible, especially if you expect your site to serve database contents that requires the display of photos/images.
  • FONTS – Font is great way to enhance the look of your website. However, you’ll have to consider that not all computers have the same fonts. Even if you know how to embed your font on your pages, load time of your site will definitely be affected. It’s a risk you don’t want to take. It would be wise to limit your selection on standard fonts that are available across platforms. Next time, we’ll suggest quality standard fonts you can use.
  • PAGE ENHANCEMENTS AND SPECIAL EFFECTS – Special effects (eg. simple animations) can enhance your site. Yes, there are lots of talented special effects and 2D animators out there. You can learn from them and it’s definitely fun. But, overdoing it will not help your site at all. So use it on your website wisely. Some tools you can use are Adobe Flash Professional, Javascript and libraries like jQuery, Mootools, script.aculo.us, Prototype, Dojo, etc.
  • CONTENT – Remember that people surf the internet because they are looking for something. It could be products or services they want to buy, or probably information they want to learn more of. With that in mind, be sure to provide more than sufficient information to your visitors so that they’ll keep coming back. If you’re a seller, then provide more products/service packages they can choose from at very competitive price. In other words, always provide more than what your competitors have. Besides, the more content you provide, the more you’ll be better indexed by search engines.

If you want to reach more audience than just merely having a space on the web, then you’ll have to do more than what has already been mentioned above. This time, you will have to optimize your site for search engines. SEO (search engine optimization) shall be discussed on another article to be posted anytime soon.

To sum it all up, keep your web design as simple as possible. It’ll be to your advantage in the future.

47 thoughts on “Web Design Planning

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