Discover some of the most useful web design tips to improve your site.
Tips to brand your website
- Include your logo in all pages. Position it at the top left or each page.
- Complement your logo with a tagline or catchy sentence that summarizes your business
purpose. For example "Always low prices" is the tagline for Wal-Mart.
- Create a favicon. A favicon is that small graphic that appears next to the URL in the
- Have a consistent look and feel in all your pages. Use a color scheme and layout that
are clearly recognized across your site.
- Have an About Us section, that includes all relevant information about you and your
- Include a copyright statement at the bottom of each page.
Tips on website navigation
- Design your pages to load in less than 10 seconds (50Kb maximum size, including
- Group your navigational options in relevant categories.
- Use common names for your menu options: Home, About Us, Contact Us, Help, Products.
Avoid "clever" or "trendy" alternatives.
- If your site uses Flash, provide also an HTML version for users who prefer a less fancy,
- Provide simple text navigation links at the bottom of long pages, so users dont
need to scroll back up.
- Link your logo to your homepage, except in the homepage itself. Put a link to your
homepage on all your internal pages.
- Display a "breadcrumb trail"; it is basically the path from the homepage to
the page where you are. A breadcrumb trail looks like this: Home > Section >
Sub-Section > Page, and it greatly facilitates navigation.
- If your site is too big, provide Search capabilities. Include a search box in the upper
right corner of your homepage, and a link to a Search page from your interior pages.
Freefind (http://www.freefind.com) offers you a free and powerful search engine
for your site.
- Set your search box to search your site, not to search the web.
- Create a custom error page that displays a simple site map with links to the main
sections of your site. That way, you will not lose visitors that have followed a bad link
to your site or who have misspelled your URL.
Tips on Layout and Content Presentation
Article continues on page 2.
- Save the top of your page for your most important content. Remember: good content must
flow to the top.
- Lay out your page with tables, and set the width in percentage terms instead of a fixed
number of pixels. That way, your page will always fit the screen, without the need to
- Optimize your page to be viewed best at 800x600 (the most popular resolution at the time
of this writing).
- Use high contrast for the body of your page: black text on white background, or white
text on black background work best.
- Dont use too many different fonts in one page. Also, avoid using small serif fonts
(like Times Roman): they are difficult to read from a computer screen. Verdana is the most
web-friendly font, since it is wide, clean and easy to read.
- Avoid long blocks of text. Use tools that facilitate scanability, like bullets,
subtitles, highlighted keywords, hyperlinks, etc.
- Avoid amateurish features like: numeric page counters, wholesale use of exclamation
points, all caps, center justified blocks of text, excessive animated gifs, busy
- Dont use pop-up windows. They distract your visitors and are immediately dismissed
- Test your site so that it looks good in different browsers and resolutions.