Home Page (Main/Index.html): Home page should clearly indicate what the site is all about. The first page should provide a top-level navigation bar with clear display, your logo, and tell to the visitor what he/she can find and do on your web site. Your home page should be informative, and should take your visitors on action and attention. The home page is the place where the visitor decides what he will do, where he/she click on your links to move along, or leave the site. If you have a discount, or if you offer some free service in attempt to make a contact with potential customers, make sure to provide link to that service on your home page that is important.
If you decide to implement flash intro on your first page, make sure to give the user possibility to skip the flash intro. The link “skip intro” should be outside of the flash, because you will force the visitor to wait until the Flash movie is loaded. If you have music or media on your site, the user should have the option to turn it “Off” if he/she wishes.
Navigation structure: Place the navigation on the place where the people are used too look for it; Do not get creative neither experiment with the navigation! I cannot stress enough this. It is recommended to keep the navigation system same on ALL pages. Visitors are not ready to learn your site navigation system and such can discourage them and leave the site. Consistency is the most important thing here. You should focus your effort on building consistent rhythm across all pages of your site “Very Important Point”. (VIP).
Font size: Your font size should be big enough so your text can be read without almost any effort. Many people will not bother to read very small letters, which is a turn off. Do not loose your visitors because of font size. Optimal size seems to be 11-12 points. Visitors should be able to read your text easy, break big chunks of texts in paragraphs and make them easy to follow.
Line Length: The length of a line of type should be comfortable to read. The optimal line length for printed materials seems to be about 10 to 12 words, or 55 to 65 characters. Somewhat shorter lines of about 40 to 50 characters may be more appropriate for larger displays. If the line is too long, the reader must search for the beginning of it; if it is too short, it will break up words or phrases awkwardly.
Emphasis: Creating emphasis is an important and integral part of designing and typesetting. Handled with taste and good judgment it can help direct and inform the reader accordingly. When these qualities are lacking, or someone feels that every word is important and must be emphasized in some way then your web page starts to look like a battlefield and becomes difficult to read!
The Graphics: It has well known that one picture worth more than million words. This rule applies on Internet too. Do your best to show clear, attractive photos of your products. If you offer a service, find a photo that will best describe it. However, be careful about file size. Do not compress your photo to that level to not be clear, but also do not leave the photo on full quality. That will make file size too big, and will increase download time.
Gif vs. JPEG: Less experienced web designers many times use the wrong format to store their pictures. Here are few guidelines, which will help mistakes to be avoided. If your photo has small number of colors (less then 64), GIF will be better choice. Make sure however to reduce the palette size too. That is, if your image have10-15 colors only, reduce your palette on 16 or 32 colors. Also, if your image contains text, GIF format should be your choice. JPEG use loose compression method and will cause text and edges to become blurry. If you are saving a photograph – save it as JPEG. JPEG images can contain over 32 million different colors. That is much more than the human eye can see.
If you want to incorporate large text into a photographic image, JPEG may be a good format to use. While the edges may still be blurred, danger of it becoming unreadable is slim. If you think your image is more important than the text, go ahead and use the JPEG format.
Speed: Do your best to reduce the download time. We live in a busy world and people are not willing to wait for long time. Try to reduce size of your graphics as much as possible without compromising the image quality. Image (s) must look good, but size (in KB) should be as small as possible, remember that.
Run a Test before publishing: Do your homework, and do it well, save time and be smart. Your visitors will not bother to send you an e-Mail telling you some of the links on the site do not work or that some of your images do not appear or display correctly. Even if someone do so, it is quite embarrassing. Perform spell and grammar checking. Remember that in many cases, visitors will build his opinion about you or your company based on your web site. When published, the site should not contain any “under construction” or a “coming soon message”, that is a turn off for some demanding people today.
For additional assistance visit: www.bisnerconsulting.com