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Factors, damaging the website design effectiveness

By Veselin Andreev
Posted Thursday, September 30, 2004

The effective design is this one, which is maximum simplified, conformable to your users because they are your main purpose. This one, simply and clearly announcing what is your website about. This one, quickly offering the users exactly what they are expecting to see on your pages without being troubled with insignificant information. The big mistake made by lots of web designers is to project their activities from their own point of view, without thinking about user.

Factors, damaging the website design effectiveness

* Additional time needed for website downloading
* Badly written content
* Complex design, abundant in elements
* Difficult navigation, incomprehensible for user
* No validated program language

Additional time needed for website downloading

Your pages downloading time is extremely important. Your users will shut your website down very quickly if you make them wait more because of your slowly downloading pages. The other sites are on a mouse click away from them.

* Not important if you are talking about graphics, multimedia, scripts, applets - be cautious about their location on your site. Don't put them without judging their position, just because you or your designer had an idea about it. Design them small-sized, too.

Badly written content

The text that is ready for print has nothing to do with the text for the Web. According to Jacob Nielsen, Web usability guru, users have more difficulties in reading the information on computers rather than on printed editions. They rather scan it than read it profoundly. Huge text blocks are unreadable and couldn't allow them to do it. Means to make text more readable and effective could be effectuated by using:

* separate paragraphs
* titles
* subtitles
* indentations
* bullets
* bolds
* hyperlinks
* different fonts and sizes

Complex design, abundant in elements

* Don't complicate users work by complex and abundant design making the website not to be clear in terms of its downloading and its appearance on their screens.

* Avoid frames. They could seriously damage your website usability.

* Having a site, made on FLASH you can't explain fast and clear to users what his content is about, what it would be useful with, what they could win, using your services, because only its downloading will take several minutes. If you insist however on including FLASH elements, much better variant is to insert them in a detached small file, with definite size, but inserting it, you have to possess some clear purpose. It refers much more to your home page, which is your website main portal.

* Don't leave your pages without comprehensible title tags, clearly explaining what is your page about (title tag is the page title you see on the top of the browser).

* Don't leave your site home page without text, explaining to your users who you are and what you are talking about on your site.

Difficult navigation, incomprehensible for user

* Don't upset user by bad navigation, making him feel lost. He could enter your site by each of its pages, not only by the home page. If he/she enters by another one, he/she must understand what is his/her position on your site, where he/she could go by clicking the corresponding link.

* Don't leave your site without a site map. The site map gives user the possibility to orientate fast and easy on it.

* Always put on each of your pages a link to the home page plus the firm's name and logo, making them also a link to the home page.

* Don't allow the existing of a orphaned page, where a user could find lost.

* Don't change the default color of the hyperlinks, because users are expecting to see them exactly that way. When a text is blue, the user is used to thing it is a link, and if it is purple, that it is a visited link. The different colors from the default ones will throw them into confusion.

* Don't make blue a text that is not a hyperlink. That will also confuse them.

* Don't put a link that leads to the same page, except these that go to other page sections.

No validated program language

The code your site is written in is validated depending on browsers from different types and versions.

* Incorrectly written program code will make your site users close it immediately due to its bad appearing in their browsers.

* The correctly written code is the best way to ensure on your pages the properly appearing of as more as possible browsers. It includes old versions and versions that will be published.

About the Author
Veselin Andreev is one of the Svilaves founders - website design and promotion services, the quality and effect of which are aiming at the successful development of their clients business. Read the exact details of their services on the address: (http://www.svilaves.com/)