Integral to how your Website is perceived
is how it looks, visually. Ask yourself: What market
are we in? Who is our target audience? How much information
do we need to give our audience?
If you are selling a product or service, you've got to appear
to be professional and authoritative. You want people to trust you and believe
that the product/service you have is reliable and the best quality.
Layout: In General
First things first. Keep it simple.
You just want to get information across to your visitors
with as little fuss as possible. There's nothing more
frustrating than getting to a website to find information
is buried in a mess of unnecessary graphics, audio,
animation, etc. which is slow to load.
Visually, the layout needs to be clean, clear and uncluttered.
Keep limited to a palette of just 3-4 well chosen colours as this will make your
layout more defined and consistent. Try to make your brand clear and focus on
designing with your prospective client in mind.
Good photography is a real bonus
when used well and will add considerable style and vibrancy
to your web pages. Try not to go mad though, stick to
just 1 or 2 good size photos on each page to minimize
Graphics repeated throughout the site
will be cached by the visitors browser. Think carefully
about repeating graphics for header images and navigation
to cut down on load times. You want to make your prospective
clients visit to your Website as smooth as possible.
Photos, graphics and images will all
need to be scaled and optimized for use on the Web.
All images need to be scaled at 72dpi resolution, and
graphics ought to be optimized to file size as small
as possible without loosing quality. If you can keep
general graphics files to less than 20k then your pages
should load fairly quickly. Perhaps 20-30 seconds on
a 56k dial up.
Please, I beg you, avoid the temptation
to use gaudy tile images for backgrounds....
With Internet communications quickly speeding up, it's conceivable
to employ short animation, video and audio in your Website. Sometimes you can
convey messages to your audience more effectively with visual or audible examples.
If you can do it, it can add a dynamic extra feature to your Website which may
help it stand out from the crowd.