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Introduction to designing your site
Designing a website is not an easy job and there are several aspects you need to know, and take into consideration, before you proceed with a design.
Here are the main factors and points we will be analyzing further. Please take your time reading these as they are essential and play a very important role on how your website will perform in the future.
- The colors
- The layout
- The features and functions
- User Experience and Interaction
- Positioning the contents onsite
- The frontpage
A comprehensive research is essential towards your website design project. Research other websites of similar nature, or even your competitors websites. Try to locate their advantages and disadvantages and compare with your list. These should include basically the points we mentioned above. Make up a list of "todos" and try to follow it when drafting your plan toward your project.
Choose your colors carefully. Each color reflects a different reaction to the user. Further than that, several combinations of colors or shades also triggers that effect. On another side, try to match your logo theme if you already got one. If not, choose based on your market. For example a travel website would choose blue colors that remind "sky" and "sea", while a lawyer website might choose black and silver shades to emphasize a corporate look and feel.
When it comes to layout, the possibilities are endless. With todays techniques and technologies you can do nearly everything. Just keep these basic factors in mind:
- In most cases, a visitor starts looking at a website from top left, and finishes bottom right of a website
- Display screens get bigger and bigger all the time.
- Extendability of your layout.
- Quantity of content you will be using
These and many more features play a very important role to how your site will eventually take form and how it will perform.
The features and functions
Based on your research above, makeup a list of what features you would like to include and what functions. Some of these are dropdown menus, image slideshows or galleries, dynamic popups, sliding content tabs and many many more. You can get some ideas by looking around on the internet, but don't overdo it. Remember, visitors don't usually have time to play around and try to figure out or locate what they want. You have 5 seconds to gain their interest on first glance, and then provide them with the shortest path possible in reaching their goal.
User Experience and Interaction
This is by far, one of the most important points when it comes to developing a website. The better thought and planning you give to this, the better your website will sell. There are so many things to explain here that this page would be overwhelmed. We'll give you a small simple and effective example below.
Let's take Google. The most visited website around and perhaps the most popular. Think of Google for a second. Its homepage is only a blank page with a search box in it, and some links pushed to the top corners. So why is this website so popular. Well, it is for this reason amongst Google's superiority in search technology that established it's position. Google though: "What will a visitor want to do on my website..." The answer is "Search". So Google gave us a search box, easily visible and accessible without any other distraction in between. Now lets go deeper and take the results pages. Google though "What would they want to do after they search..." and again the answer is simple. They want to get as more comprehensive information as possible to help them decide which is the most appropriate site to visit for their search. So Google gave as a page with a bunch of links, decorated with a simple "title" each and a small comprehensive description.
I hope this example solves a lot of your questions about experience and user interaction.
Positioning the contents on site
Yet another important point, is where to position your contents and how. Based on the layout you have decided, prioritize your contents and plan accordingly. The most important contents should be near the top and leftwards of the page while secondary contents, could be positioned to bottom or right side of the page. Some other ways to emphasize important content is with color shades. A very good example, is our very own homepage at "www.exevior.com". Check it out for a while and let us know if we are mistaken on this. First glance you see the logo (Branding) then it pulls down to the header and the 3 "Yellow" modules with our most popular services. That's exactly what we want you to see, in the order you have just experienced it. This is the exact same reason that brought you to this page, and kept you reading to this point. It's scary some times how you can predict and even guide a visitor within your site.
Positioning your contents requires careful planning, and a good consultant is the best choice at most times. Thats if you don't want to do it your self or don't have the time or experience.
The front page
We have reached the last point, yet the most important. This is the page that your visitors will first look at and, from statistics, we know that you have 5 second as specified above to gain their interest in staying longer on your site. The contents you decide to put there also play a significant role on this subject. You don't want to put too much information so you will not scare your visitors away. Putting too much, tends to create a feeling of "work" to the visitor. They feel they have to read too much and its too much work and time for them. Instead, provide as short as possible any descriptions of your services, and try to guide them inside for further reading. This helps to break the ice and the "work fear" and keeps the visitors longer into reading even more information you could even think of. A good example is "you"... Did you ever think you would read such a long page till the end? Instead, you just did and you loved it, because you have gained some really important and valuable information.
So, if we wasted too much of your precious time in reading this whole page, we apologize, and invite you to fill up a really quick form, so we can cover up your time by taking care entirely of your web design project and planning procedures...