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-- WEB PAGE DESIGN . . . An experienced visitor's point of view
WEB PAGE DESIGN . . . An experienced visitor's point of view
By Daniel Deane
There are certain things that make a web page easy to navigate
and still others that will chase away visitors. Below are some
tips indicating elements that should be in place in every web
page in your site.
Who are you? Why do you have a web page and why should they
return or do business with you? These are questions that should
be answered on your title page and perhaps included in some form
in every page on your site. A simple way of contacting you
should be in place. One example of this is an invitation at the
bottom of each page, to email comments to you, with a link that
activates the email portion of the browser.
The download period is your most vulnerable time on your web
page. Keep your index page simple.
Make sure you have text enough in the top of the page to give
the visitor something to read while your graphics are loading.
Keep graphics to a minimum. Use short paragraphs and a lot of
room for the eye to rest. A designer or advertiser calls this
"White Space." "White Space" is VERY IMPORTANT. It can make or
break any advertising space. Too little makes a document seem
too busy. Make sure your text margins can float if your skill or
HTML editor can manage it. Include graphics that are in harmony
with the rest of the page and the message that you want to
present. Make sure your background and your text can be seen by
persons who are colorblind. AND, if you are colorblind make sure
someone else who is not colorblind previews your work before
Never place a white text on light background or dark text on a
dark background. That is an immediate turnoff. It can make your
visitor very irritated at the page designer. It may be just the
thing to motivate them to look elsewhere for information and
that elsewhere may not be on your site!
=== Handicap Accessibility. If possible, make your site
determine if the visitor browser supports frames. If it does
not, you should have an alternate page(s) with the information
in large type, text only, for persons who are blind or have
other sight problems and are visiting your site with a text
reader machine. You may include an image in between paragraphs
if it is fully described. If you do not want to do this for some
reason the graphics should be at the end of the document with a
warning that they are there and that this is the end of the
text. Again provide your name, business name, phone number,
address, and email address on this page if you want them to have
One last thing on the text only page. . . . Extra borders and
"===", or "-0=-=-=", or the like, sound like the text machine or the
software has hung up like an old record player. Please do not
3.SITE MAP or INDEX
is necessary on every page. Link every page in some way to
every other page in your site. Failing that, use a frames format
and make sure that you preserve your margins on all sides of the
frames. Place your site map in the right frame. I suggest that
you provide a way for the person to determine where they just
came from and a helper to get them back to the very last page
presentation they visited on your site. The fewer times a
visitor needs the back button on their browser, the less likely
they will leave your site till they have seen it all.
4. It is not advisable to provide invitations to leave your
site on the top of your index page. If you advertise or provide
links to another site, you might want to make sure there is a
way for a visitor who left your site to return from THAT link.
This is called a reciprocal link. You do not need to hide your
links. Just do not leave invitations to leave where a person is
really tempted to do so.
5. When making lists with graphical bullets (such as picture
of a globe, a diamond or ball), if possible make them into radio
buttons or links to the area in your web page that illustrates
your point. When using graphics, remember that many people will
click on a graphic for a description, or expansion of the
information that picture represents. Some websites use this to
their advantage to create pleasant surprises for their visitor.
Some visitors search for those surprises. Perhaps you should
consider providing those surprises.
6. The more often you change your web page, the more often a
person may visit. There are services of which you may subscribe
that informs the subscribers when a member site has changed.
7. You may also create a guest register. Many people will sign
the guest register, thus providing you leads for future
activities. You may also notify the resulting mailing list when
your web page has changed. If you are so inclined, a newsletter
will provide you with a further opportunity to present your
views or products.
8. Once you have created your site, view it with as many
browsers as you can. Read your site with an IBM and a Macintosh.
I have been told that 62% of all web sites are created on a Mac
and about 35% of the readers are on Macs.
9. If you are friendly to a Mac User, you have a great chance
to gain his loyalty. He may even advertise your site to other
Mac Users. If you want a lot of positive hits on your page,
create reasons for a Macintosh user to visit and ask for his
referral to your page.
These are only nine of the many suggestions I have made when
visiting a web site. I visit only 20 minutes. That is as long as
I expect any visitor to remain interested in any site. If they
need the bottom scroll bar to read your text, I expect them to
leave immediately. Your visitor is your guest. Do not make them
work to enjoy your site.
Presented by Daniel Deane, P.O.Box 3548, Chattanooga TN 37404
/Publisher of Daniel's InfoZene, a general interest/public
service ezine Internet tips, Humor, Recipes, PSAs, disability
advocacy, and more. Copyright 1997 Daniel Deane
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Tags: E-commerce and Internet