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.
1. 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
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.
When designing your web site, you need to remember that your visitors want to know more about the details of what you do;
1. how you do it 2. how long you’ve been doing it 3. how great you are at doing it 4. the specialized fields in which you do it (vertical) 5. the people that you have on staff doing it 6. and their experience doing it
1. How is your web site constructed? 2. Do you have enough content for users to thoroughly research your company? 3. Do you use words that are commonly used by your target audience within the content of your web site? 4. Do you make this information easily accessible to your users, or do you have a lot of your best content buried and not properly linked from pages?
While designing your Website, you should understand the fact that your visitors might try to get access by using one of the many different browsers used throughout the globe. Hence, a vital part of your effort focuses on ensuring that your Website performs satisfactorily when accessed by any browser. If your Website is not accessible or does not run smoothly with certain browsers, then you might lose those visitors and potential clients to your competitors.
Various operating systems use different browsers. Therefore, even as Windows users prefer to use Internet Explorer, Firefox, or even Opera – Linux users could be accessing your site by using Konqueror while Mac users could visit via Safari.
The best way to design and test your Website would be to design it for use with Internet Explorer and then test it with the other browsers.
Use HTML 4.01 or even XHTML as your code.
Another simple point that results in irritating errors is the proper encoding of specific characters. While some browsers can automatically correct character errors, other browsers that understand only encoding might result in display or execution problems. Thus, it is important to encode all characters other than alphabets or numbers in their hexadecimal forms.
Another common problem that afflicts some visitors is the incorrect use of colours on the Website.
Your images, graphics, animations, and text especially should be viewable and readable by all users irrespective of the browser or resolution setting.
Many visitors would enter your Website with high colour settings; there are still quite a few web users whose computers have a setting of 256 colors.
Ensure that your Website does not have any dithering issues for visitors whose monitors have different colour settings. Thus, your font and background colours should be in sufficient contrast so that all your visitors can easily read your web pages irrespective of their browser or colour settings.
Instead of directly using the colour names, ensure that you use the matching hexadecimal codes to allocate the colours on your site.
Your graphic format should also be easily accessible by different browsers. Images can be stored and transported under various formats. The more common ones are JPEG, GIF, and PNG.
Some GIF users have run into patent problems and have thus shifted to PNG or JPEG formats. There are various other graphic formats but since most work only with a limited number of browsers, it is better to stick to a format that the maximum number of browsers can access.
If possible, try to ensure that all the browsers load the text on your Website so that your visitors can browse over the content of your site as your graphics load on to the page. This will prevent your visitors from leaving your site if the graphics or animations take a longer time in loading.
Thus, in order to cater to a wide variety of visitors from various corners of the world, it is necessary to design your Website in a format that can satisfy the maximum number of visitors irrespective of their operating systems or their browsers.
By designing and testing your Website with various browsers, you can detect and remove any flaws and thus ensure that your Website loads smoothly on to your visitor’s machine.
The Internet has no geographical or cultural boundaries and one can expect visitors all corners of the world to your site. A well-designed Website should be accessible to all types of people including those with hearing disabilities, are visually impaired, and even those with physical disabilities.
If you want your Website to reach out to a larger audience, then it could be better to incorporate additional features at the planning stage itself. This could save you the trouble of re-writing all the programs and codes required to changing your Website. A feature that can jump across geographical boundaries would be the ability to incorporate a translation facility, to translate the language used in your Website into various other languages. This helps people from other countries gain access to your Website.
You might at present, be restricted to translating your Website into two or three different languages based on your target audience. The future might provide Website designers the power to translate the entire Website into any language that a visitor desires.
If you need help designing your website for universal access, you can find a web design company with a broad understanding of the different needs of web users with physical disabilities.
There may be a small percentage of visitors with physical disabilities, who have problems in navigating with the mouse. In such conditions, it is better to provide a large display on which visitors can click their choice, instead of providing a very small button on which to click. Try to maintain a standard format on your Website where the choice buttons appear in a specific corner of every page. This will make life easier for all your visitors, including those physically impaired.
If your Website contains videos, then this might pose a problem to those people with hearing disabilities. In such cases, you could attach streaming text at the bottom of your video that runs along with the video or if you regularly change your applets or plug-ins. You could also provide a hyper-link that provides such visitors all text in readable form.
Visitors who have visual problems require a little more effort. A fraction of your visitors may be colourblind. To be easily accessible to colourblind persons, insert colours that do not appear similar when viewed. You can hold trial sessions for colourblind people to give you an idea of the colour shades that you can safely use to maintain their distinct quality.
In case of totally blind visitors, the task can get tougher since normally, blind people use a screen reader software that reads out aloud one word at a time, one line at a time. This could be very frustrating for them since if the information that they require is at the bottom of the page, then the software would take up valuable time in reading through the entire page before reaching the bottom.
You should use adequate space between various words and make your alt-tag information short and precise. You can also place various key words in brackets and any accompany links by the word ‘link’, to make it easy for your blind visitors to understand and navigate.
The changes that required doing to cater to the special needs of your special visitors could well worth your while, since there might not be many sites thoughtful enough to incorporate them in their Websites. This could provide you and your business with financial as well as mental satisfaction.