Whether you are just starting a web design project, looking at revamping an existing site, or just wanting to double check the usability of your current web site you should consider these 7 Basics of Good Web Design.
These Basics are aimed at new visitors/customers, your repeat customers will be judging your web site on different values. Just like wearing the appropriate clothes for a job interview, these basics will help you pick out the “look” of your web site so that you make a good first impression.
1. Fast Loading Web Site – Any way you look at it, a fast loading page should be your number 1 concern. The web is all about speed, fast searches, fast purchases, fast information. You can’t have any of that with a slow loading page. Ask yourself this question, have you ever been on Google doing a search for something important and a link you clicked on didn’t open up immediately? What did you do? Patiently wait for the page to open or move onto the next link on the list? My favorite sites open almost immediately.
So, a few suggestions: Make sure that your images are properly optimized. Don’t use very many large images, save those for a different page. Keep any auto-running multimedia to a minimum, offer links to run media instead. Check your code for anything else that could affect your page loading times. Since text loads almost instantly go ahead and use all the text you want, just keep everything else under control.
2. No Meaningless Splash Page – Do you appreciate a fancy animation page that doesn’t tell you anything and you have to wait for before the web site will open? Neither do I. The last thing I want once I find an interesting site is to wait through some animation before getting to the first page. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want multimedia on a site, I do. I just don’t want an animation https://www.alexandremthefrenchy.com/ before the first page that forces me to wait for it to finish before getting onto the site. Its like having to wait for a salesperson to finish their memorized speech before you can ask them a question. No thanks! I like animation, just in the right place and at the right time. Plus if I am a returning customer I will have already seen that animation and don’t need to see it again.
My recommendation is to use a smaller animation contained in your main landing page which also includes your main message and links to the rest of your site. It will make for a faster loading page (smaller file) and your visitors can go ahead with accessing your site without having to wait for the animation to finish.
One final note, never, ever put your logo as the only content on your landing page with a link that says “Enter Site”. This just screams Unprofessional and will drive away potential visitors in droves. The last thing I want to do is to click on another link just to get into the site. This is a total waste of my time. I usually will skip a site if I see this.
3. No Annoying Web Gimmicks – Now that you have your visitor on your site quickly the one thing you don’t want to do is to drive them away just as quickly. So, don’t put anything annoying on that first page. No loud background music that makes them quickly hit the volume control or the back button on their browser. No flashing animations while they are trying to read your content. No popup, flyout, expanding ads that cover your home page. Basically leave the gimmicks alone until you are sure that your visitor will stay on your site. Most casual visitors will leave your site in just a few seconds, no sense on driving them away more quickly.
Multimedia is great on a web site, just don’t bombard your visitor with it first thing. If you want audio then put in a nice picture with a link, like a picture of yourself with text saying something like “Let me tell you how to make $50,000 this month!” If they are interested they will click on the link and listen to your message, if they are not interested in audio then you should be using a different pitch anyway.