When designing / developing a site, too often the technical details are given all the focus instead of stepping back and telling the wood from the trees.
Here are some top design considerations when building a website:
- Every page is a landing page, so it should be branded and formatted consistently
- Make sure the brand targets the intended audience (e.g. don’t use shocking pink for corporate site)
- Images such as jpegs etc. should be crisp, nothing gives off a sense of amateurism more than poor image quality
- Avoid Animation / Flash, not only is it distracting, it does not work on iphones, if you have to animate maybe you could try jquery image transitions. If you absolutely need flash, limit it to specific sections of the site.
- Readable Font / Width / Contrast: it’s important that your pages are readable, your fon therefore should be legible, paragraph widths should not be too wide and the contrast should be good (black on white)
- Make use of Whitespace – don’t be afraid of space, whitespace gives a sense of order, try align elements together to an invisible grid where possible
- Easy to navigate (nothing should be more than 2-3 clicks away)
- Good content organisation – content should tell story, beginning middle and end and put your key message at the top for speed readers.
- Put contact details on every page – a basic oversight, users can enter your site from a any page, make sure contact details are there, you might only have 1 shot for the business.
- Highlight your call to action (use colour such as red for apply buttons etc.)
- Use a subtle background (backgrounds can make a site but keep them subtle)
- Make sure the site works on various screen sizes, try on large and small screens, avoid horizontal scrolling at all costs
- Make sure your site works on ALL major browsers, make sure that your site works on the important browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome)
This is just a snapshot of the kind of things that should be considered when designing a website. Best of luck.