Have you planned your website yet? If not, you’d better stop reading and get started planning before you do anything else.
Once you’ve planned the design around your business needs, you can start paying attention to the details of the design. And there are plenty of details to keep you busy. This one might seem to fall into the “obvious award” category but if you’ve been around the web you know how many people completely ignore it.
Tip #2: Make It Readable
If you want a professional-looking website design that encourages visitors to read about your business, products or services, the first thing to do is to make sure visitors can, in fact, “read”.
- Organize content into logical pages and site sections. Make it a snap for visitors to find information.
- Incorporate headlines into your page design. Web users will browse more often than read. Give them hooks to grab their attention and a reason to read more.
- Include bold text, bullet points, section titles and short paragraphs to keep your visitors’ attention and to give them clearly defined groups of information so that they can seek out exactly the particular points they are looking for.
- Never (really, we mean never) use patterned or distracting background images as part of your design. Your content will be “lost” in the noise, and it’s never a professional look.
- Eliminate bright background colors and bright text. Make reading easy on the eyes.
- Consider colorblind visitors. Certain combinations of colors may be invisible to some of your valuable customers.
- Consider visitors with graphics turned off (yes, they can do that). Use ALT tags to label graphics with descriptive text and make sure that your most important content is in text format.
- Use an appropriate font size. Find a happy medium between too big and too small.
- Use a consistent font. It may be fun to experiment with all the pretty styles of letters but conflicting fonts will only make it more difficult to read your site. And combined, those fonts will probably not look as pretty anymore.
These points are important not only for your site visitors, but most are also relevant for search engines. In fact, just about anything that works for your visitors will also work for search engines, so keep in mind that a professional, well-designed site has multiple advantages.
Have you visited a website that was difficult to read? What was the worst part?