EARTH MOVIN' MEDIA

Web Design Blog

Category: Design Tips (page 1 of 2)

Web Design – A Look Back At Big Tech Stories OF 2012

Looking at web industry from a business angle, Ars Technica muses upon six big stories that stood out last year. Of those six, we’ll peg BitCoins as the story we’re most likely to look back on in a decade and wonder “what were they thinking?” Like Microsoft Bob, Pets.com, and the CueCat, BitCoins still have that cachet of “naive pre-web-bubble idea”. The article goes into several ways where BitCoin has had trouble already, which we predict is the shape of its doom, arrising like a Grim Reaper in the West.

Looking For An Offbeat Image Source? Look No Further

Web Designer Depot has a post up about the gems you can find in creative commons images on Flickr. “Creative Commons” basically means “free to use” – sometimes technically for non-profit purposes, but really, does the 0.0005 of a penny you get from ad clicks count as “profit” anyway? While we’re at it, here’s a bunch more royalty-free image sources every web designer should have bookmarked:

Web Design – This Is Why People Don’t Join Your Site

Possibly the most excellent post we’ve read this year: 8 Reasons Users Don’t Fill Out Sign Up Forms. Every website owner or maintainer ought to be required to read it and pass a comprehension test afterwards.

Newsletter-iconBriefly, the point is that users avoid signing up to become a member of a site unless they absolutely have to. Call it, if you will, “social media fatigue“. Ten years ago, the web was yours just like your TV set, and the only time you had to sign up for anything was if you were buying something. Now you can’t click a mouse button without logging in with a nick and password. Who can remember them all? Why does it feel like getting married every time you just want to leave a quick note somewhere?

Web Design – Coolest Recent CSS3 Tricks

We haven’t been showing enough love to CSS3 lately. There is a fundamental shift in web design happening right now, between the end of the Flash era, beginning of the HTML5 era, and the advent of (at last!) working CSS3. Here’s a roundup list of pretty and/or cool tricks in CSS3 that just make you go “Awsome!”

 

Why It’s Time For Everybody To Start Hyping HTML5

We work in the web development industry, and so we love our shiny new stuff! Don’t we? We love our chrome-plated glowy neon high-tech toys, because they make us feel like the hero in a Tron movie.

web-developmentOhhh, it’s exhausting keeping that up. But anyway, as painful as it will be to live through, we’re starting to see lots of enthusiastic hype for HTML5, which means that it will come to pass. It works this way because the life-cycle of all new web tech runs like this:

  • Initial spec. Somebody like Tim Berners-Lee or Paul Graham makes a blog post about it; everybody laughs.
  • First implementation. Some bright little start-up implements it before its time and it falls over. All the big companies sniff over it and turn their nose up at it.
  • A handful of bright bloggers keep yammering about it and why we should give it a chance.
  • A few more take up the march, but now they’re posting demos with amazing things happening. Start-ups form. The first dollar is earned from it.
  • Suddenly the whole tech world goes crazy for it! People can’t hype hype hype it enough! The buzz becomes buzzwords, hype, overkill, and burnout. An investor bubble forms around it and bursts.

Yeah, think it over. Look at past examples. Cloud computing, Web 2.0, text messaging, RSS, SaaS… isn’t it always in that pattern?

The Web Designer’s Most Dreaded Fonts

Why do web designers get so worked up over fonts? A decision on whether to use one font or another for a logo may embroil an entire office, waging cubicle-to-cubicle warfare (imagine stapler-cannons, binder-clip mortars, and waste-paper-basket helmets here) that shoots down an entire day’s productivity. A non-designer will look on all this and wonder what on earth gets into people.

Let’s try to explain the rationale behind the most-dreaded fonts and why designers feel that way. On top of all these, the thing that makes a font the least popular is when it’s been overused.

  • banned-rubber-stamp-graphicComic Sans – The thing is, this font was only intended as a joke/ novelty font. Think “party invitations.” Instead, a whole generation of novice web users latched onto this font for dear life and use it for everything, be it funeral notices, dear John letters, or results coming back from an AIDS test. There are tombstones chiseled in Comic-Sans out there.
  • Vivaldi – If Comic Sans is in trouble for people who don’t take themselves seriously enough, Vivaldi is the font for people who take themselves too seriously. Vivaldi is appropriate for snooty French restaurants and symphony programs. Anything else just makes it scream “pretentious snob!”
  • Curlz MT – Not only is Curlz ridiculously silly for any purpose except a circus train, it’s stupidly hard to read. If this article were displayed in Curlz MT, you’d have given up by now.
  • Kristen ITC – Well, if you have to ask “What’s wrong with Kristen ITC?”, you’re probably beyond hope. It’s designed to look like it was hand-lettered by a preschooler. And that’s just how your intellect comes off when you use it. Remember, you’re inviting people to think that you’re four years old when you use this font. Don’t blame people for treating you like a four-year-old if you do.
  • Bradley Hand ITC – Bradley hand is one of the hand-written fonts that basically lacks any imagination, while still making everything illegible and pretentious all at once. It’s like making a tray of fancy hors d’ouveres out of Ritz crackers, Spam, and Velveta.
  • Papyrus – Papyrus is hated for being too dramatic. As such, it belongs on movie titles, movie posters, banners at Renaissance Faires, and nowhere else.
  • Viner Hand ITC – If Papyrus is too dramatic, Viner Hand is the cursive font that’s too campy to be dramatic. Don’t use it unless you’re a 14-year-old Goth who shops at Hot Topic and wears a razor blade on a bracelet, because that’s what you’re telling the world.

Tips For Web Designers To Reduce Stress

Hey, it’s refreshing to see somebody acknowledge that web workers have stress, isn’t it? Most of the time our acquaintances will be all, “What are you complaining about, all you do is sit around and type all day?” So this list of tips for reducing the stress of web work really hits home.

Some particularly strong points that need emphasizing here:

5005Exercise One of the things they don’t warn you about is that a life of sitting in a chair staring at a computer screen will make you fat. There’s no way around this; it doesn’t matter what you eat, if you never burn calories, you will gain weight. So yes, taking a walk will also help burn some pounds off your chunky waistline.

Socializing Those of us with families are far luckier – working from home means that we share space with the people we love instead of those annoying co-workers. If you have pets, kids, or roommates, try to learn not to shut yourself into a shell when you’re working and invite them to join you in your den or office. You can tolerate a lot more distractions than you thought you could. It really helps fight off the stress if you can carry on a casual conversation and type at the same time. Dropping by the park or coffee shop with your laptop can be a nice change of pace, too.

Non-electronic recreation It’s funny when you think of it, but you spend all day staring at a computer screen, then get off work and for recreation spend a few hours staring at the telly screen. Or you code web pages all day, and then for break time you play video games on the same computer. This is a recipe for burn-out! try recreational activities that are completely non-digital: do the crossword puzzle in the newspaper, walk your dog, play ball with the kids, work in a garden, or even just get to a park and climb a tree. We bounce around from computer to television to MP3 player to mobile phone to PDA and back to computer like there were nothing else in the world. Build a ship in a bottle or something!

Seven Outdated Web Design Concepts

I say, isn’t it about time you updated that website you had your nephew build for you back in 1998? Outdated web pages look older every year, and now that the World Wide Web is pushing on into the 2010s, even some of the hot trends of the 2000s are beginning to show their age.

If your website’s outdated, it says bad things about you. Visitors might think you must have gone out of business, have no taste, only care about an older audience, or are just too technically incompetent to keep your website up to date. If your website is sporting any of these long-gone elements, perhaps it’s time to think about an update just to keep up with the passing decades.

Vectors_Art1. Photoshop design / Image slicing – This used to be the default method of design, even by the pro shops. But not only is slicing an image to fit into tables now outdated, but the whole “design it in Photoshop” thing is an anachronism. Modern-day sites, relying more on CSS than tables, fare far better if laid out in Fireworks, Illustrator, or Inkscape.

2. Background music / autoplaying media – Probably there are no .MIDI sound files playing any more (we hope! those got old even in 1998!), but today’s equivalent is media such as video or Flash ad content that starts playing sound as soon as the visitor arrives. At least let the visitor mouse over the element or give them a way to pause it.

3. Instructions on how to view the page – “This page best viewed in Internet Explorer 6.0!” You might as well have a gravestone over the top of your site: “Rest in Peace.” Not only does the version number date you (IE6 is about a decade old!), but the whole concept of specifying the correct browser is just not washing with modern audiences. Ditto screen resolution; we have people reading web pages on everything from mobile phones to XBox consoles on wide-screen HDTVs now.

4. Javascripted links – All browsers these days have tabs, which means that your visitor wants the option of opening a link in a separate tab. Any link on your page that tries to force the visitor to do different is annoying and obtrusive. Links should be in HTML only. Note, however, that having HTML open the link in a new window is compatible, because the visitor can still force it into a tab instead.

5. Splash pages – Old, old, old. The only exception to this rule is some media-heavy website for an accomplished artist. Musicians and animators and such can get away with making a big production out of showcasing their website. Everybody else has visitors who are there to grab that thing they need and be on their way, preferably in one minute.

6. One-page sales letters – We’ve all seen them. They looked tacky and gaudy when they were first being made back in 1996. In addition, there’s something about the way a lo-o-o-ong, hard-selling page that scrolls and scrolls, which is just kind of ranty – it reminds you of the TimeCube guy. In this day, visitors are so turned off that they’re likely to ban your domain just for seeing a sales letter on it.

7. Background images – The exception is if the image is small, minimal, unobtrusive, and the content still has a solid box behind it so you don’t have contrasting background. Even then, it’s a risky design. The rue is, if the background image is one of the first three things you notice about the page, you’re doing it wrong.

Web Design: 53 CSS Tricks In One Place

A nice little round-up of 53 CSS-Techniques You Couldn’t Live Without, over at 9tricks. These represent the leading edge in everything CSS is capable of lately. It’s surprising that we don’t have more of it deployed.

A few observations on the list:

  • CSSWe’ve seen 1001 rounded corners tutorials, but none of them will compare with the one-line ‘border-radius’ feature… when all web browsers support them.
  • Wrapping text around an image – every hack for this we’ve seen deployed so far works in two browsers and breaks in all the others.
  • The dynamic piechart looks like one of those painfully-obvious image-sprite hacks, but you have to admit you never thought of it until you saw it.
  • The adaptive layout technique – this is the next feature we’re going to be crying for better solutions for, in HTML6 and CSS4. The massive array of screen widths we now have to deal with, from pocket-mobile devices to ridiculous monitors the size of a swimming pool, is a mark that it’s high time the device took care of more of this for us.

 

Web Design Tips – The Five Web Page Ads That Users Can’t Stand

Of course, we all want to make money on the web. Our web design clients especially.
And most users – even the ones who never click anything – understand that. In the polls we’ve seen of the average website visitor, most say they don’t mind ads as long as they don’t interfere with the browsing experience. Oh, but those others! Here’s five advertising designs not to use:
  • advertisingPop-ups – Doable with a simple JavaScript ‘alert’ function, pop-ups are the oldest hated ad on the web. Almost obsolete since most browsers can be configured to not display them anyway.
  • Talking ads – Like the ‘smiley’ one you see that whistles and yells for attention. Users hate these, and they might also get fired for browsing the web at work when their web browser suddenly starts chattering and they forget they have the sound up.
  • Expanding banners – The corner kind are OK, since they are easy to recognize and don’t intrude onto the main parts of the page. But when you have the flat kind that drop down over the web page like a curtain, it’s irritating.
  • Floating boxes – These are the Javascript dealies that have replaced pop-ups. Browsers can’t block them without turning off Javascript completely. A Javascript box that coasts in after a minute and hovers in the center of the page with no visible way to turn it off just drives the user somewhere else.
  • Misleading linked text. – This could be not-so-annoying, if only the link went somewhere that had something to do with the article. An adlink going to a swimsuit site in the middle of an article about hamsters, however, is pushing it.

 

 

An Easy Target For Ridicule

One of the favorite sports of web designers, apparently, is to point out websites with poor designs and ridicule them.

One blogger recently posted a mockery of the corporate website for McDonald’s.

Ho ho ho! What a lame site!

Hold on, here. Why should a fast-food restaurant chain even care about its web image?

I mean, are you going to order a Big Mac online? Truly, many of the most famous brand names in the food industry have sub-par websites. In the case of McDonald’s, they’d sell just as many Happy Meals if the Internet never existed. They already have TV, radio, and print media saturated.

Here’s some other examples we found:

 

  • Burger King – No apparent marketing to customers at all. You get a very plain world map and when you navigate to a country, you get “franchise opportunities”, “careers”, and “management team”.
  • Dairy Queen – A pretty showy site, with Flash animations and lots of stuff to see and do. Still you almost have to wonder “why am I here?”
  • Domino’s Pizza – Now we’re talking! At least with a restaurant that delivers to your home, their web strategy makes sense. You should try ordering a pizza online some time; you feel just like you’re living in the 21st century.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts – Not as bad as McDonald’s, but still pretty blah. You could have phoned this in with DreamWeaver and an out-sourced Flash team.
  • Starbuck’s – Only a sliver better than McDonald’s site; off-putting color scheme, fixed-width, and badly organized links with bits of text here and there. Even though they’re another fast-ffod type enterprise, you’d think they would try to be more appealing, since their demographic ties in so well with the laptop and smartphone crowd.

 

 

Free (or Cheap) Graphic Design Tools

Colour us “jumping to conclusions”, but we’d have to guess that Photoshop is the best-known graphic design tool out there. but it’s not an optimal solution for everybody – the price tag is high, it has a steep learning curve such that you could spend years studying it and not know all of it, and it’s also aimed more for print graphics than web graphics.

For those of you looking for a more compact and economical solution, here’s a list of tools you might want to look into. These are all less costly (all but one is free!) to download and use, and are geared more towards smaller solution sets as well.

  • GimpShop – As the name suggests, this is the version of the open source G.I.M.P. program geared to Photoshop users. G.I.M.P. stands for “GNU Image Manipulation Program”, after the GNU.org general public license. It’s about 90% feature-compatible with Photoshop, and is a much smaller, cheaper, and easier-to-learn program.
  • Paint.NET – This is the free graphics program using Microsoft’s .NET 2.0 framework. It’s come a long way since its origins as a better alternative to Windows’ Paint program (the one that comes with all copies of Windows). Now it’s a nice half-step between a Paint-level application and a Photoshop. Just right for slapping together a quick design.
  • PIXEL editor – This is the non-free one – but it’s only US $32! For that price, it’s barely paying for more than the bandwidth to download it. PIXEL is highly-praised by many users, citing it’s vast features, light-weight system demands, and easy-to-navigate interface.
  • Inkscape – Another GNU-licensed free program, Inkscape produces vector graphics that are right up to par with Adobe Photoshop. Even more so than other GNU competitors, Inkscape is simple enough that a child can use it, yet can produce professional results. It’s actually the one that’s fun to just sit and play with!
  • Google’s Picasa – While Picasa isn’t a full-featured web graphics workshop, it is a very handy photo tool. It’s geared more towards home users who want to organize and post a web photo album, with some common photo-editing tools built-in such as cropping, rotating, and colour-correction. It can still be useful for working with stock photos before posting them in your blog.

 

 

What web designers must know

If you are a web designer, then there are scores of things that you need to know, so that your websites will be successful. The website that you design must be able to create a rapport between the site and the visitor for a common good. This is one of the many definitions of a successful website.

In addition, your website must be interesting enough to gain the attention of a visitor who may or may not continue on to your site. Thus, there are many things that you need to take heed of in order to achieve a successful website. Here are some useful tips that can help you to become a better web designer.

website1. You must be very patient in order to be successful as a web designer. One of the greatest problems that web designers face is the fact that many web designers will try to rush through their work and thus they will often make mistakes. Don’t forget that your website will serve millions of people on the Internet and you need to be patient and meticulous in your efforts, so that you can satisfy a majority of them.

2. Make sure that you spend ample time planning for your website. This is important, as your plan will create the main layout for the website and thus this is the only way in which you can make sure that all needed elements are there. Think about the expectations from that particular website and then plan for all the elements that need to be there.

3. It is important for the web designer to be aware of the prospective audience for that particular website. Thus the design of the website must reflect the needs and the expectations of this prospective audience.

4. Make sure that you are up to date on various new techniques and tools on the Internet. It is very important for the web designer to be armed with the latest technologies in order to create a more competitive design. If you need to improve yourself then take some time off to learn about these new technologies

 

More on what web designers must know

5. A good web designer must be able to balance the use of graphics and Audio – Video files with website viewing efficiency. Using graphics can make your website interesting and pleasing to look at; but overdoing it can cause your web viewing times to slow down. Thus as a website designer, you will have to balance this equation for that particular website.

6. A good web designer must be able to balance out the content of the web site into numerous web pages. This will be better for the visitors and it will also be better for SEO purposes.

7. It is essential for a web designer to know the driving force behind SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It is important for the web designer to be familiar with Search Engine algorithms. This way the web designer will be able to adjust keyword densities and other relevant SEO related criteria.

8. A good web designer will seek professional help and opinion whenever needed.

Why choose the right colour scheme for web sites

When used correctly, colours can not only enhance the visual appeal of your website but also help in conveying your message to the target audience effectively. Modern web browsers share 216 common colours necessitating you to stay in this colour range while designing key elements.
Going outside the standard 216 colour pallet would require the browser to mix colours. The browser thus borrows tiny dots from the colours that already exist to create the required colour, a process that is called as dithering. Most of the times, this dithered colour is so speckled that it becomes impossible for users to read the text.


Web Page Design

Good web page design is vital if you are planning on optimising your page for the search engines – and why wouldn’t you?

You should plan the design to suit search engines and your customers.

Some of the things that you need to keep in mind are:

demonstrationMaintaining a consistent theme for your website plays an important role in how effective your natural website rankings will develop. A properly developed website theme will reinforce the users understanding of exactly what your company is offering.

Your website design should provide strategic navigation that does not permit your visitors to get lost within deeper pages, creating traffic fall out and abandoned shopping carts.

Create a navigation layout that is both search engine and user friendly. We want to focus on creating a clearly defined hierarchical layout that enables the average user to navigate easily throughout your site.

If you feel it is time to redesign your site and you’re having difficulties coming up with a good design, Perth Web Designers can design an effective web site that is sure to meet the expectations of your customers and search engines.

Web Design And How To Create Great Content To Get Good Links

Regular readers on Earth Movin’ Media would know that along with web design, I quite often write about search engine marketing techniques on this blog.

However, for more in-depth search engine marketing strategies – then I also write another blog covering internet marketing strategies and search engine ranking factors for web design and development. You will find it here – internet marketing blog

websiteslinks-iconWriting articles is an art, and something that has long been used as an option to build relevant links to websites for the purpose of Internet marketing. The idea is to write good articles to create great content for search engines.

If you write and submit good quality articles with content that is relevant to your product or service, it can be seen as highly useful and therefore generate lots of relevant, high quality links to your website.

So how does this fit in with web design?

You will no doubt be asked along the way by clients to assist in their web marketing. Maybe not in a big design firm where you operate as a designer only. But, if you choose to go out on your own, you will find that you are requested to fulfill multiple tasks that you may not have expected to do.

So here we go.

Using good content, you can create good articles (& blogs) which can then create direct links to the website. This is done in the article BIO that you will be asked to include when submitting articles to directories such as Ezine Articles.

Creating good content requires writing on topical issues relevant to the website you want to link to.

• When you are writing content for article links, your focus is not only prospective customers but also other bloggers or writers who are writing similar type of content. When you have good quality content, you will find that many people rely on your content for interesting information. Similarly, if you put interesting content in your blogs and/or discussion forums you will also attract many visitors. This is noticed by other companies. Such companies will contact you for partner links. It would be mutually beneficial for both companies as the traffic that one pulls add on to the other’s links to a certain extent.

• You may select a topical issue on which to write. If there is some issue that matters most to your industry, a discussion based on it can become very interesting if handled cleverly. Such a discussion can give you a great insight to the industry, as well as have some new ideas or opinions about the issue in question.

• When you develop content, ensure that it becomes conversational. When people are tempted to participate in discussions and when your conversations become more popular, you find a large number of visitors. With the added traffic to your website, you will find more and more companies approach you to share links. You have to be diligent in selecting only the links that will add value.

• Other companies can be happy to share links with you if you have good quality content. Write your articles correctly and precisely. When other sites find linking to your sites beneficial for traffic creation you can well feel assured of getting their traffic as well. This helps in improving your page ranking.

• When you create content, pay attention to the basics. The use of title, headings, spelling, and grammar is vital. Break articles into meaningful sections, word counts, etc. Moreover make sure that you do not try too hard to promote your product or service in the articles.

You should be able to submit your articles to different publishers. Try submitting to social networking and social bookmarking sites such as digg. These sites can potentially deliver huge traffic and great links.

 

The use of whitespace

Whitespace is the space between elements in a piece of work. More specifically the space between major elements is macro whitespace.

Micro whitespace is the space between smaller elements – lists, captions, images or between words and letters.

Designers use whitespace to create a feeling of sophistication and elegance for upmarket brands. Coupled with the intelligent use of font and photography, whitespace is seen all over luxury markets.

Cosmetics advertising embrace the extensive use of whitespace in marketing material to tell the reader that they’re stylish and superior in quality.

In the case of direct mail, material needs to appear down-market to work and adding whitespace to this type of design would lend an undesirably upmarket quality.

Less whitespace = cheap
More whitespace = luxury

A lot more goes into branding than just whitespace, but as a project lands on your desk for a luxury brand, it’s likely that the client and their target customers will expect whitespace to align the product with its competitors.

Active and passive whitespace

Whitespace is often used to create a balanced, harmonious layout. One that just feels right.

It can also take the reader on a journey through the design. When whitespace is used to lead a reader from one element to another, it’s called active whitespace.

Once you know how to design and manipulate the space outside, inside, and around your content, you will be able to give your readers a head start, position products more precisely, and perhaps even begin to see your own content in a new light.

How To Avoid Costly Mistakes When Designing Your Website

Designing a new website or making alterations to an existing one is fraught with the possibility of mistakes and sometimes even blunders. Therefore it is important that you take certain precautions before plunging into your web designing. Failure to do so may land you in delays rather than in quick success. The following guidelines would help you avoid the unnecessary fuss and frustration!

Know your prospective site user:
Acquire a good understanding of the expectations of your prospective site visitors. Analyze their needs. What do visitors of such websites look out for? What kind of websites do your prospective customers expect to see? What should be the layout and design of your website copy? Does it need photographs and graphics? Will you need to alter the content from time to time? A thorough customer research will answer all these questions

Pay for what you need:
Don’t overspend your budget. If your business is small you don’t need a lot of bandwidth and web space every month. If you wrongly believe you do it will cost you quite a lot of money. Go for something small that is economical and yet useful. It may turn out to be faster too.

Avoid complicated techniques:
As far as possible avoid using complicated techniques such as frames, custom mouse pointers, sound, doorway pages or any other technology that asks users to download rare plug-ins. Usually such techniques scare away most Internet users as they find that it is confusing and takes a longer time to download leading to a complicated navigation.

More Tips For How To Avoid Costly Mistakes When Designing Your Website

Keep the search engines in your focus:
All web surfers use search engines. Therefore, make sure your site is duly listed in a couple of popular search engines. It is also important that your site links up well internally, and all important pages open with a simple click of the mouse. Your website must be search-engine-friendly for which you must use keywords clearly not only in your website title but also repeatedly in the first paragraph of your web content and text. Remember your key words are the words that Internet users are expected to type in the search bar while looking out for your type of website.

Give usability top priority:
Make sure that your web design projects your brand very well. Your site’s usability is of vital importance. If it is not very user-friendly then web surfers will go elsewhere. It is the correct use of key words that makes your website user-friendly. Your texts should be clearly visible and site navigation smooth. Your fonts and colors should look pleasing to the eyes. Your link structure should help people find information quickly.

Remember that the usual top-level menu items are: Home, About Us, Products, Services, and Contact Information.

 

Some More Tips For How To Avoid Costly Mistakes When Designing Your Website

Simple rather than flashy:
The use of multimedia can help you provide all kinds of features making your web pages lifelike and interesting. However, it is advisable to avoid its use if you really want your prospective visitors to gain quick access to your website and obtain the relevant information. It is a good idea to limit flash navigation, which can confuse users if over used. Always make access to your Home page direct from any page.

Focus on speed:
Files with graphic formats should never give users long download times or they will be driven away. Remember search engines find it hard to decipher text embedded in graphics and these features take longer to download. Avoid such things as far as possible. Have a look here for more technical tips on website loading and page design.

Headings are important:
While surfing the Net do you enjoy reading a huge passage without headings and sub-headings? Not really! Therefore use catchy headings and sub-headings (the juice) to help your website visitors go around your site freely without getting lost in the mass of words. Use bullets to give quick indicators to simple-worded detailed information. In your headings, choose key terms that can be easily indexed by search engines.

Finally, remember that your prospective clients and customers are your target. Put yourself in their place and ask yourself if your website will be able to live up to their expectation. Also, regularly revise and update your website keeping up with the changing technology and needs of the time.

 

Advanced tech tips for web page loading

The total size of your images should be under 30K. Consider optimising your images for size, combining them, and replacing graphic rollovers with CSS.

The total size of external scripts ideally should not be over 8K. Consider optimising your scripts for size, combining them, and using compression where appropriate for any scripts placed in the HEAD of your documents.

The total size of your external CSS should be under 8K. Optimise your CSS for size by eliminating white space in the code, using shorthand notation, and combining multiple CSS files where appropriate.

 

Creating And Designing Your Own Website – A Beginner’s Guide – Part 1

Designing a website is a crucial business task.

Below are few tips which can help to guide you if you plan to design a website.

Be organized: one of the greatest flaws, which many novice designers are prone to, is organization. Your web site must be well organized and not just for you but for visitors. Make the navigation tools convenient so that the user can search for information easily. Don’t let your visitor get lost under several layers of pages without a clear way out.

Don’t write too much text: don’t over stuff your website with too much text. You can break up the content and put bullets, bold words or make short paragraphs. This will help the reader understand text easily.

Visitors never read every word you write – no matter how interesting you think you might be! Rather they scan the pages. If you need to write a lot of text to cover a subject, I usually find it best to use javascript links to expand/collapse text blocks. This will allow the visitor to go to which ever section thay are interested in – and expand that particular section without getting hit by a huge page of text. But if you find the designing process overwhelming and you need help, Northern Lights Web Design in Perth can help you get the best quality website design.

 

Creating And Designing Your Own Website – A Beginner’s Guide – Part 2

Use software for web design: these days you can find various web design software tools in the market. You can either choose advanced or beginner software for website designing depending upon your skills and knowledge. Some of the web designing software is Flash, Front page, Dreamweaver, and so on. You can also get some inexpensive software in the market but make sure that they provide the level of quality you require.

Frame a layout: decide the kind of layout you want for your website. For effectiveness, it is always advisable to make the layout as simple as possible.

Update your website: always update your website. Outdated sites are boring. Keep the interest level up always.

Keep a backup: if your website suffers a crash or attack you need a backup for your website, it will help you to get the website back online in a short period. These are usually your local file copies, but can also be extended to other drives or websites especially created for such a purpose.

Interactive website: make your website interactive by using different forms, tabs buttons or text boxes. The more the interaction between you and the user, the better the results.

 

Creating And Designing Your Own Website – A Beginner’s Guide – Part 3

Colour scheme: an important aspect of the design process is colour. It affects physiologically and psychologically as different colours have positive and negative attributes or feelings that they evoke in people.

Apply an attractive web page header: this is important because the header is the first thing which any visitor will notice when your web page loads. Headers are not difficult to create and are definitely the best way to improve the web design.

You can create headers with basic elements of design. These types of images can be easily developed with a few twists, which give your website a professional look.

With a little effort you can design a website that will make you proud.

 

Web Design For Beginners

If you have your own business or simply want to have your own website to reach out to prospective customers you need a great website. Your potential customers or clients want to see you on the net.

website-designing-patnaYou do not need to be an expert at designing websites to start off. You need to just be aware of three things; using HTML, registering for a domain name and finding a service to host your website.

The first thing that the website needs is a domain name. A domain name is nothing but the address for your identity on the Internet. For e.g www.google.com, is the domain name for the search engine by Google. Your domain name has to be registered for a certain period of time. The name that you decide should be such that it easily identifies with your company name or product that you are selling or the purpose of the website.

It should be easy to remember and as short as possible. If you can include one of your keywords in it – then great – but it isn’t essential. Something quirky, that also stands out as being different is also a good way to go.

 

Things To Do and ‘Not To Do’ When Designing Your Website

There are many things you would like to do for your website but you should not do.

Here are a few tips that you should do and should not do for a better website design.

So, you are a music lover and would like to have some light background music for your website to set the mood right?

Music should always be kept to a minimum for websites. Files can be heavy and thus increase response times for your visitors. If you feel like you need to use music, then make sure you include an on/off button and try not to use music that may be offensive to other musical tastes.

Embedding music into flash files can be a good way to include music in your website as it can be optimised well, but it will still add valuable loading times to your pages.


Things To Do and Not To Do When Designing Your Website – Part 2

The structure of web pages, is a very significant part of website designing. Most of the people surfing the net like consistency. This applies to the structure of your web pages as well. So, even if you are bored of the same structure, stick to it. Do not try to experiment and create different structures of different web pages. This might end up confusing the visitor and thereby forcing him/her to exit.

Automatic pop-ups can be a real nuisance for net surfers.

If you are toying with the idea of whether or not to include some in your website, then don’t!

Pop-ups are typically used when you want to display some unimportant information. Most visitors know this fact and thus do not like automatic pop-ups. If there is any information that you would like to incorporate as automatic pop-up, then integrate it in your website. However, this should be done in an interesting way to grab the attention of your readers instead of shooing them away by having pop-ups.

 

 

Things To Do and Not To Do When Designing Your Website – Part 3

You may be surprised to know how much people prefer the old conventional methods when it comes to navigating websites. Top companies have researched on the style of navigation that most people prefer, and the results have been in favor of the old conventional systems. However, if you are tempted to use a funky navigational style, like all links arranged in a circle, then resist your temptation and stick to the convention.

Everyone likes to be their own boss. This also applies to people visiting your website. So, if you have a particular style for your window that will look good only in a particular window size then drop your idea. Because, if you continue with the same, you will have to add scripts that will automatically resize the window of your website visitor and this can tick off people! So, go for a style that is flexible and fluid.

 

Great Tips For Proper Web Design

Internet is a great platform for online business. There are numerous websites on the World Wide Web, however, only few manage to do good business. An unappealing and poor quality website is a big failure, as it will have less or no browsers at all. To propel your website towards success you need to know ways to do so. This article will give you some useful tips that can help you design your website well, and generate huge traffic.

Here are a few tips that will help you with your web page design.

It is important to make your website appealing and attractive by adding graphics and visuals. However, these visuals or effects won’t be of any use if the website takes too long to load. A website should not take more than 10 seconds to load or you certainly will lose the browser.

Have quality content on your website. The words you use should be search engine optimized so that the engine finds it easy to locate your website and display it on the first page of Google. You can use tools like word tracker or keyword discovery to find out words that are less frequently used and can help in generating huge traffic.

More Great Tips For Proper Web Design

It is better to use HTML, as it is reliable and a versatile language, that can help you code your web pages. It is easy to learn HTML and is very effective in designing the colour, font, and style of the content on the website.

The navigation buttons used on the website should have fewer words written on it, or it will make the content area crowded and not pleasant to the eye.

If you find some problems in loading your website do not give up but look for professional help. At times your website may have a problem to open up in Netscape due to complex designs, however, you can seek a solution by looking out for an expert in web designing.

 

 

Tips For Proper Web Design

A website needs a lot of planning and preparation before you actually work on it. Poor planning can lead to a poor website. Have a rough plan ready about the graphics and visuals to be used, the content, font, style, and color. You should also be sure about the number of pages you need to upload, where and how to place the navigation button and so on.

Before you upload your site you need to register for a domain name. It is an address given to your website which can be easily identified among various websites on the Internet. You may not be able to purchase it but can get it on lease for a period of two years.

It is true that pictures are attractive and speak about the product. However, visitors to your website are more interested in your content and do not waste time in uploading pictures that take time to load. Instead, use quality and unique content that will be useful to the reader.

Taking care of these things will help you catch hold of many browsers. However, update your website often, and revamp the website once in a while, to keep the visitors coming back for more.

 

Few Friendly Tips For A Better Website Design

Are you going crazy because you have tried an unending list of ideas and options to increase the traffic for your website but nothing has really clicked? Well, then here are a few suggestions to make your website viewable and appealing for most web surfers and increase the traffic for your site.

People like to visit pages that are not linked in a confusing manner. It would be great for you to include a site map of your website for the same purpose.

A site map is a simple web page that includes all the sub pages of your website in an organized fashion. This makes it very convenient for the visitor to navigate to the required page and also increases his/her chances of visiting your website again simply because of its user friendliness.

 


Tips For A Better Website Design

A web page can contain text, image files, multimedia clips and so on. When the size of all these elements present on a web page is added you get the total number of kilobytes a visitor will have to download to open that particular page of your website. Simply, it is known as page size.

If a person has to wait for more than 10 seconds to download your page then chances are that he/she will move on to the next option he/she has. Though high speed Internet is gaining popularity steadily, yet there are many users who still use orthodox 56-k dial up modems. Thus, it is advisable that you keep your web page under 60 K in size to make it downloadable by maximum number of visitors.

Again, there are many people around the world who still use the old 800 x 600 resolution and you will amazed to know that they comprise around 40% of the net surfers! Thus, even if you have a high-resolution setup, you should still try to design your pages according to 800 x 600 resolution. Otherwise, the visitor will have to scroll though your page horizontally, which can be very frustrating.

Tips For A Better Website Design

Many times while trying to open up a page you have seen the 404 page. These pages have very little information, which states that due to some fault you are not able to view that page. Users do not like to view such pages. However, a good idea would be to make your own custom 404 ‘page not found’ page.

It can have information for the visitor that they have come to the right website but not the right page. It can also have links to redirect the visitor to the home page or the site map. If your website has a search engine, then you can also include the search in your custom 404 page. After this has been done, all you need to do is to ask your web host to set it up so that you can use your own 404 page.

To boost the speed required to open your page, you can add a forward slash (/) at the end of the URL of that page. This is done to remove one of the steps that the web browser would have to perform. This way the speed is enhanced and your page can open up faster. However, if the link points towards a particular file (a PHP/ASP page or an html page) then do not use the trailing slash.

These are a few tips that will make your website a pleasant search for the surfers and a user friendly- site for the visitors.

 

Common Web Design Myths

Have you ever wondered why some Websites look and perform better than others? It is because many web designers are caught in a web of myths, and cannot manage to produce the desired effects and results. Here are some common web design myths that can have an adverse effect on your Website.

Myth – Only Good Content Can Determine A Good Website: While good content does indicate a high quality website, it is not the only criteria. Your visitors need not only to be educated, but also entertained at the same time. No one would like to look at endless pages of high quality content if it is does not contain presentable graphics, images and interactive menus. The key is to find the right combination of content, graphics, and images that enable your Website to run at optimum speed as well as provide the information required to your visitors. If your Website targets mainly the younger generation, then they are not be attracted by good content but will instead, be more impressed by high quality graphics, video and images.

Myth – Only A Well-Designed Front End Ensures Success: While an attractive and interactive front end is essential to impress visitors, the absence of solid architecture to back that front end will result in disappointed visitors cursing and leaving your site. Formulate a proper plan with inputs from the web designers, Search Engine Optimization [SEO] experts, and your marketing department. This should translate into a Website that not only has a well-designed front end but also has links and sub-menus that actually work in a seamless manner. Ensure that you execute trial runs using all possible resolution combinations and using various Internet speeds. Ensure that your Website allows surfing, accepts inquiries, orders, and payments. The complete package should work in complete synchrony.

Myth – Throw In Some Good Graphics, Make Some Sound And Your Website Is Ready: This could be the advice offered by a novice web designer but in reality you will need much more than just adding videos, graphics, sound and animation to make a desirable Website. You first need to research on your target Website audience, and design your Website according to their likes and dislikes. You can compromise a little on the quality of graphics by reducing the number of colors, or reducing the size of the images if it is not too critical for your Website. Experiment with different resolutions until you find the right combination of graphics that works well in all resolutions. Many web designers are also of the view that only one ready-made web template should be sufficient for all their clients. This could result in an average Website that offers nothing new to your visitors.

Myth –Visitors to Your Website Have Good Internet Knowledge: Many designers assume that most of the visitors have excellent Internet knowledge and thus design Websites that could prove to be difficult for a novice to comprehend and navigate. A Website design should be easy to use by one-and-all. Before launching your Website, try to rope in a few novices as well as experts and provide them with a demo of your site. Observe their actions and reactions and use that feedback to improve your site.

It is therefore necessary to be aware of the above myths in order to design a balanced easily navigated Website accessible by visitors of all levels of Internet knowledge and skills.

 

 

Web Design – Top design strategies for a great web site

Keep it simple

hero--deskThe business web site is there for the customer. Keep your customer in mind at all times. Don’t become so enchanted with showcasing your company that you lose sight of the reason your visitor came to your site. If you lose him once, you are not likely to get him back for a second chance.

Update often

Good web sites have changing content and changing design. If your site looks like it has not been updated lately, can your customer actually depend on the information he finds there? Well designed web sites allow for easy updating within the structure of the site. The best designs offer a dynamic site which has something different each time the visitor returns. Talk to your designer about options for automating your web site content.

Provide relevant content

Do not assume that your visitor is interested in your company history, employee roster, personnel photos. Give him something worth reading in an interesting format and he will return to your site and recommend it to others. The most visited web sites are those which offer unique content and easy access to information the visitor cannot find elsewhere.

Look professional

Many companies try to save on their web sites by designing and maintaining them “in-house”. These offices often end up spending more on creating and maintaining their web site than if they had hired an outside consultant. What often happens is that employees have other responsibilities which must be balanced with the web site, and when time is tight, the web site is the project which gets put aside for later or given to another employee to finish. Remember that your web site has the potential to reach thousands of customers every day. Be sure it is leaving the right impression.

Use quality graphics

Just as you would not decorate your customer lobby or the front of your offices with clip art, you should not use these images in your web site. Quality photographs and graphics are an essential part of your professional design. Good professional photography and graphics enhance your web site and keep your visitor exploring longer.

Use quality fonts

Too many web sites can be found which use fonts more appropriate for greeting cards than for business. Keep your web site clean and professional with one font and add interest by changing sizes and weights. Resist the urge to scatter fonts creatively throughout the web site.

All computers were not created equal

Remember that colors will vary wildly from computer to computer. There is no way to control the exact appearance of colors across the web. Therefore, don’t spend a lot of time trying to match your letterhead or logo.

The web is not print

This may seem like an obvious statement, but it is important to remember that printed materials cannot just be scanned to your web site. Printed materials must be reformatted for use on the web. It is not always practical to try to reproduce your existing printed materials for web site use. Let your designer guide you to find the right balance between good web design and consistent image for your business materials.

Spell check

Errors and typos always seem to find their way into web sites. You can reduce the number of errors on your site and the time necessary to correct them by using the spell check function for any text files you send.

Download time matters

The average visitor will wait 4 to 6 seconds for a page to download. It is important that your web site have something for your customer within that time or you may lose him forever. Keep your web site pages to a size which can be downloaded quickly. There are still plenty of potential customers out there using dial up modem to connect to the Internet. For more information of page design.

Use animation sparingly

The use of FLASH animation can dramatically increase a Webster’s interest without increasing the download time significantly. However, too much animation can compete for the visitors attention and actually drive away traffic. Integrate your animated elements into the design concept and let them support your information rather than competing for attention.

Make your site unique

There are thousand upon thousands of web sites out there today. Most of them look very much the same. Do not design your site with a template which will make your web site just like all of the others. Keep your design memorable, but professional.

Navigation

You have probably been to one of those sites which makes it hard to find the information you are seeking. Clear navigation is important. Your site should allow the visitor to clearly choose his options and to get back to the beginning without difficulty. Good navigation is an important key to successful web site design.

Get your money’s worth!

Listen to your professional designer – After all, that is what you are paying for! If you have chosen your design firm well, then they will know their business – just as you know yours. Too many cooks spoil the broth – and the web site, too! Of course you should be involved in guiding the direction of your new web site, but let your designer give you the benefit of his expertise in the field.

 

A Few Web Layout Tips

• Navigation should always be simple and easy. Websites with unfriendly navigation miss the traffic. A navigation key should help you easily browse through web pages without any difficulty. If your navigation system is vague, the visitor will get frustrated and leaves the site never to come back. All successful websites use simple navigation keys.

• A web layout helps you decide what content comes from the first page until the end page. It lets you know where exactly you want to use graphics and where and how many pictures you want to insert. It will also help you decide on which font color, background color and the text color to use.

• You can make use of templates as well, and edit it to upload on your website. However if you do not wish to be a part of the herd make sure you go for less popular templates.

• There are many layout tools that help you look at the website before you can upload it, so that you can amend the required things.

More Web Layout Tips

• There has to be a flow in your website. You just cannot place any content or text anywhere. The content and the graphics used should have a meaning and it should in connection to the previous content.

• Make sure that the content you use is correct and beneficial to the readers. The language should be simple and words easily understood. Always use pleasing fonts and colors.

• Always use limited file size that makes the website easy to be viewed.

A well-planned layout is a foundation of every website and thus should be careful in drafting it. A simple and easy to understand layout will help you generate a better website. Seek a professional web design help so you know you are on the right track.

 


Css And Your Web Design

Web-designers use CSS or Cascading Style Sheets for separating page content like paragraphs or images from the stylistic elements of the page. These stylistic elements may comprise of colour, fonts, layout etc.

The term generally used for this is ‘Separation of Content from presentation.’

CSS represents a breakthrough in web designing as it equips web developers with the ability to control styling and layout of multiple pages all at once. Web designers can choose a style for every HTML element and apply it to multiple web pages at per their requirement. To effect changes globally, the style needs to automatically update all elements in the web.

However, many people refrain from using CSS just because they lack a proper understanding of it. It nevertheless is worth investing time to learn CSS, as the advantages gained through its use are tremendous.

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