DOs and DON’Ts of Website Design
Below is a basic list we put together for a Website Marketing 101 workshop we did. It’s a nice overview for someone just starting out the process of designing or rebuilding their website or starting to work with a designer.
Always try and make things as clear and easy as possible for your visitors.
What may be obvious to you may not be to your visitors!
DO make the site Attractive
Avoid too many colors and busy backgrounds
DO make the titles on your web page make sense
Instead of “Sleep in Paradise” title the page “Accommodations”
DO use text that your customers understand
Industry terminology will be lost on regular people (i.e. say “horseback riding” not “equestrian experience”)
DO use light animation for attractiveness and interest (scrolling images, etc)
Don’t go overboard however with things moving all over the place
DO make the site easy to navigate.
Visitors should find what they are looking for in 3 steps or less…and be able to go back where to they came from.
DO include calls to action where appropriate
Tell people what you want them to do (book now, reserve, contact us etc)
DO use a consistent menu throughout the site
Don’t make people have to search for your menu
DO keep important information “above the fold”
Don’t make your visitors scroll down several pages to find the good stuff
DO use consistent fonts, colors, structure, and layouts throughout the website.
You want people to focus on your message not try to sort though a menagerie of designs.
DO make it easy for people to contact you
Put your contact information on every page and have a clear “contact us” tab
DO use a footer navigation and a site map
It’s all about making the site user-friendly (and search engines like it too)
DO use search engine and user friendly technology
Avoid Java script menus and NEVER use framed sites. Use CSS instead of tables.
DON’T build a site in all flash
It takes long to load, you can’t use the back button, search engines hate it, and it’s hard to update (need we say more?)
DON’T force people to download a new browser or special plug-in to see your
They will just get frustrated
DON’T use fuzzy, unclear, small pictures
Nothing is more unprofessional that out-of-focus, grainy pictures, that are hard to figure out
DON’T use pictures with large file sizes.
Optimize and resize pictures for the web before uploading them NOT after.
DON’T underline text unless it’s a link you’ll just confuse people
DON’T center, bold, or capitalize all of your text. It makes it hard to read.
DON’T be creative with your menu links
Name your menu links what they are, don’t make people guess
DON’T let people leave your site
Links to other sites or documents should open in new windows
DON’T have music or sounds start automatically
There’s nothing worse than having uninvited music start when your headphones are on and volume is full
Some of list obtained from: www.secretsites.com
Comics from: www.webcopyplus.com and www.clangnuts.com