There are many different types of web design, from those constructed using website templates and ‘build your own own’ site building applications to complex content managed and e-commerce web designs such as those used by big brand names like Amazon, eBay and Tesco. Some companies, even some big name companies, have unprofessional looking and badly designed websites. Some have amazing looking websites but because of their high graphical articles and minimal text content may take an age to load, are not easy to use and do not provide what the visitor wants.
Good Website Design
Though many aspects of website design differ from site to site, many things remain the same throughout the most of websites on the internet. Most notably is the routing or menu. The way in which a home page’s menu works and looks is essential, as ultimately, visitors to a website are looking for certain criteria that will make them possibly stay and interact or leave. This ability for a website to keep visitors interested is sometimes referred to as stickiness. Visitors want an attractive visually thrilling experience, but perhaps more importantly, they need ‘ease of use’. Website usability is a key factor for websites that are looking their visitors to stick around, make a good enquiry and ultimately complete a deal and order a product or assistance.
Easy to Use Web Design
Internet users tend to prefer easy to use websites, because they do not wish to have to learn how to use a website every time they will find a new one. They should be capable of use a website after only a few mere seconds of looking around a homepage, anymore and they will leave and browse somewhere else. The need for fast user interaction is vital and therefore having a fast loading site is also important for a website to succeed. Despite having faster internet connections such as broadband, online users don’t want to wait around.
Just imagine, in case you go to a shop on the high street and so are totally ignored by shop assistants at the counter for 5 minutes, even after you have made it clear you want help. There is a correlation here to just how an internet user may feel, if they arrive at a website that has been poorly developed, is difficult to use, unfriendly and slow to load. Making sure that a website continues to be well thought out and designed with the user in mind, displays a company’s special selling points within easily recognizable eye catching calls for action and has a clear, easy to use menu is key to the success of the claims.
Flash Web Design
With recent web site design advancements, such as the introduction of Flash animation and high definition video articles, impressive websites have been produced to consider advantage of much higher levels of visual results and interaction. However with this ‘high end’ web design, comes a price, most of the time, web designs which rely greatly upon Flash content are often absurdly slow to load. They often have a progress bar, which slowly goes over the web browser to signify when the site will finish loading.
This is much like the progress bars that you may be familiar with if you utilize video editing or 3D making software, or if you use games consoles where they are displayed whilst you wait for online games to load. Internet users on the whole do not want to wait 3 – 5 minutes for the web page to load even if it does feature high resolution images, animation or video. They want fast informative content rich websites. If they wanted to watch a good animation or video they would watch television.
Good Flash Web Design
This is not to express that Flash animation is all bad news and shouldn’t be used in web design. If used subtly and in small amounts it can make a website more visually appealing without slowing the load period down too much. Suitable uses for Flash animation in web design are usually things such as; Flash banner advertisements, Expensive video and interactive Flash types for online questionnaires or company presentations.
Using Flash for a whole website design however , is not such a good idea. It slows the user’s encounter down because they have to wait for components of it to load.
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Also, sites completely developed in Flash tend to make use of unfamiliar menu structures and functions. This can confuse visitors who only want to quickly interact with the website and not end up being amazed by the way the menu animates. Just because you can do these things in Adobe flash, it doesn’t mean they have any genuine working value in the real world. They might look pretty, but if they are not useful and only irritate the visitor then they do not have real value.
Flash Web Design & SEO
Another argument against making use of Flash to create a whole website is that it dramatically reduces the effectiveness of your websites’ Search Engine Optimisation. Flash web designs comprise of one main file within a web site which search engines find difficult to index. This is because the text within them is normally graphical text and therefore is not generally accessible by search engines. Some latest developments allow some text to become displayed for search engines in Display websites, but this is nowhere close to as effective as text articles within traditional HTML based internet sites.
Don’t Write Off Flash in Web Design
Although Flash does have its limitations it also has its great points if used correctly. For instance; Flash animation is usually smaller in file size than traditional gif animation and because of the way it is produced the animation flows smoother than gif animation too. Having said this, I would recommend only using Flash within small areas within a site in order to compliment other imagery that makes in the overall design. Finding a balance between minimal graphical elements, imagery, Flash and good quality informative text is the key to a successful user friendly website. That isn’t to say that web design needs become boring. By working with quality website design companies there’s no reason why you could not have a visually exciting, well designed, user friendly and successful website.
Visually Rousing Web Design
When visitors first reach a website, they want to be impressed and engaged with what the website has to offer. This will be determined by the ways in which the web developer has laid out the website’s content text, images and features. Arranging elements such as imagery, text, images, flash and video in such a way about keep the visitor interested in the website is the key to good web design. If a site has poor design and doesn’t grab the attention of the visitor in the first few seconds, then it may well be terminated as just another average website. This ultimately means the visitor will go somewhere else to spend their time and, moreover, money.
Good Web Design Layout
Lots of time and money is spent making sure that the right elements of websites are positioned within the right places. Companies spend considerable amounts of money conducting research into just how internet users use their websites. This type of research shows where their visitors’ eyes concentrate the most, which aspects of the website they click on first plus generally how they interact and use their websites. Most internet users will appear primarily from the top left either across the page, or down the left hand side of the web page with an internet browser via a computer, mobile phone or even TV set.
I would hazard a suppose, that they are looking for the company’s name or logo, their main selling factors or slogans and then what the internet site has to offer in terms of what is featured in the menu. After which their eyes are probably drawn across the page content plus over to the right hand side. Successful web design usually takes this into consideration and will ultimately affect the way a website looks.
There are of course rather famous exceptions for this rule for instance one rather well known search engine has a web design which is very different. The main focus and core functionality in their web design is located correct in the centre of the page. This however , isn’t any ordinary website with tens or even hundreds of pages of products and services to display, its main focus can be its recognisable logo and of course the search box. It does however feature a small minimal menu across the the top of web design, which flows from left to right. So even they have got taken onboard some of the research carried out into internet users’ habits. If you go looking at websites after looking over this article, I can guarantee that most of the web designs you’ll see, will have a left hand menu and a described header bar with a company logo plus slogan across it.