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Website First Impressions: Keep It Simple 27 April 2010

Posted by daniellegatsos in Design, Trends.
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Providing a positive first impression on a website is just as important as a personal first impression. Especially if that website represents you, your company, or your organization. Oftentimes, when a website is opened patrons decide within the first few seconds whether they like the site enough to continue browsing its content. While aesthetic appeal plays a crucial role, maintaining a simple functionality is equally as important in retaining those customers.

I remember in the early days of homemade websites it was popular to use things like fancy patterns, background music and animated buttons on sites, just because we could. Popup windows were (and still are) a popular feature of many sites trying to drain our pockets and our RAM. Today, for the most part, web developers know better than to over design sites and bombard patrons with popup spam. Luckily, it seems as though as time passes, websites get cleaner, not only in a design sense but in functionality as well. This is because today’s web designers follow common rules that ensure a successful design to keep viewers coming back. The following are some of those website design tips or rules found at http://www.pr-inside.com/web-designing-how-important-is-web-design-r1790619.htm.

The most important piece of any given website is the navigation bar. It is responsible for guiding the customer experience, so it is extremely important that the navigation is user-friendly. Additionally, providing users with a sitemap is optimal, not only for navigational purposes but also because it helps search engine rankings.

It is also important to pay attention to your website’s font size. You don’t want your readers squinting, nor do you want them moving back from their screens. Designing your website using em measurements can help this (to an extent) as the sizing will be relative to the screen it’s being viewed in. Similarly, it is important to pick color combinations that accent one another to avoid straining the eye. It is ultimately a good idea to at least test your site on a few different browsers to make sure that visually it is coming up as expected for everyone.

When building a website designers also tend to use a minimal amount of image files to increase load time. It is also a good idea to keep image files as small as possible as large images tend to bog down servers and may result in an impatient visitor.

Always make sure all of your links work. If a customer clicks on a bad link at your site it will result in frustration and confusion, both of which are completely legitimate reasons NOT to come back to your website.

Designers should also separate text on web pages so it doesn’t look so intimidating. White space between short paragraphs make pages easy to scan while scrolling and maintains user interest.

These common tips are the basics to maintaining an aesthetically and functionally successful website that customers will want to return to. The first impression is important, make sure yours is clean, calm, and connected.

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