Friday, May 30, 2008

Less Is More In Web Page Design

by Akhil Shahani

How many times have you come across sites that are so cluttered with information and graphics that you feel completely lost? Isn't there a problem of plenty with animated graphics, pop ups, revolving text, blinking images and so on? It typically leaves you confused and irritated, doesn't it?

The mantra for an attractive web page design is simplicity. Keeping it simple and clean with the minimum of graphics but adequate yet concise information is half the battle won. Zero in on what it is you want the visitor to do; do you want her to purchase a product from you, read information or gain knowledge - and design your site accordingly.

To design a site that will attract viewers, you have to know the factors that affect a web page layout. Once you understand these issues, you are well on your way to creating an eye-catching site. We've researched and put together the 5 necessary elements that go towards making an attractive design. So, go ahead and start designing your website with these basics in mind.

Screen Resolution - Use a screen resolution of 800x600 pixels when designing your web page and use percentages to specify the width and length of your page. It will then resize to the particular resolution your visitor is using.

Graphics - Avoid cluttering up your page with too many graphics. Remember, the more images you have, the more time it takes for downloading. Strike a good balance between graphics and text.

Color - Since the web is a visual medium, color plays an important role in how viewers perceive it. Have you ever gone to a site that had a dark background and darker text? I bet you didn't stay long enough to try and figure out the content! Always use a light background with dark text. If you are ever in doubt, use black on white.

White Space - This is the empty space used to separate various elements and draw attention to the content. If the page is too cluttered with information and graphics, it will annoy the viewer. Try to make the page look clean and simple; it must be both legible and navigable. The proper use of white space is one of the critical elements that distinguish a professional design from an amateurish one.

Links - Where do you want the visitor to go? Don't leave them hanging mid-way with nowhere to go. The key to good web page design is to make all the information on your site easily accessible. Will one click take you back to the homepage? Do not have multi layers within your site - the viewer may simply lose interest and move on.

Well, we've given you the 5 elements essential for a good web layout. Here are some more guidelines for you to make your website attractive to your intended audience:

o Plan the design of your site before you start building it. All the content, graphics and links must be carefully thought out during this phase.

o Ultimately, it is the content that your viewer is interested in. So, design your website with the content in the forefront. Avoid any type of web page design that overpowers the information; please, please resist the urge to go wild!

o A white background reflects a professional, businesslike attitude while a black one evokes an air of creativity and mystery. What do you want to be?

o Choose a design scheme that is appropriate for the message you're trying to convey. A design that is good for a corporate site is usually wrong for an entertainment website.

o Weird fonts, bizarre punctuation or bright colors can distract the visitor from your message. Good design is never in-your-face. Rather, it simply creates a sense of visual pleasure for visitors to enjoy.

An effective web page design simply presents your message in an attractive way. Keep the purpose of your website firmly in mind at all times and resist the temptation to indulge in fancy design gimmicks. A simple and attractive layout of your web pages will ensure that your visitor will have an enjoyable experience and want to return.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Akhil Shahani, a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed. If you like to work smart, check out http://www.SmartEntrepreneur.net . It's full of articles and resources to help you start and grow your business successfully. Please visit us & download our special "Freebie of The Month" http://www.smartentrepreneur.net/freebie-of-the-month.html