More and more people around the world are using the Internet, and the numbers are increasing everyday. The Internet has become the primary source of information for many, and because of that, web sites have to constantly improve the content and image of their web pages in order to keep users interested in accessing their sites.
What are the measures that should be implemented by web designers in order to make their sites more appealing to users around the world? Here is a list of issues that can be encountered in web design and the necessary action to be considered:
1. Availability of basic features
First, the design of a web site should be compatible to any browser. It should be able to pass HTML and CSS validation tests. Second, web sites should be able to cater to disabled users. This won’t be a problem as long as designers adhere to web standards. Third, the process of navigating a web site should be simple enough for all users. No user likes to encounter a new site, and then he or she has to figure out how to navigate around it. Fourth, status bars should be available. It shows the destination of links as the cursor is being moved. The status of the current page is also displayed as it loads.
2. Appearance of the pages
There are four elements that make up the appearance of a web site. They are the fonts, color, graphics, and writing.
Fonts are not just a matter of personal preference of the user and the designer. The primary importance of font choice is that it affects how fast the users can read the information being presented. Arial fonts are usually recommended over the Times New Roman and the Verdana.
When applying color, it is important that there is enough contrast between background and foreground in order for the content to be readable. To achieve maximum contrast, black text against a white background should be used. Link colors should be established at standard settings.
When it comes to graphics, bear in mind that some pages get too overloaded because of the use of too much images. As much as possible, use graphics only to support the content being presented to users. A lot of people actually have the tendency to shut off the images when browsing for information.
Web designers should remember the distinction between writing for the web and writing for print. Web content should be short and straight to the point.
3. Site performance
There are three factors that determine the overall performance of a web site. These are speed, tables, and connections.
Since everyone is hankering for more bandwidth, the best that designers can do is to avoid the usage of design that will take up too much bandwidth, because not every user has access to fast Internet connections.
To avoid making the site appear like it takes forever to download, avoid loading putting a whole page inside a table. Instead, divide the page into several tables.
Web designers should not cloud a page with too much items for the simple reason that each item requires a separate browser for the whole page to be downloaded.
4. The occurrence of bugs
Of course, no one wants to have bugs in his system. To avoid this, body text should be set up with relative font sizes. One has to consider that there are users out there who have poor eyesight, and they would like to adjust the font sizes through their individual settings in order to read the text more clearly. The relative value recommended for this would be:
In case of URLs, it should be simple and short, containing no punctuation or spaces. Users should be able to copy a URL and paste it into an email message without it being wrapped in multiple lines. To avoid dead links, redirects should be established, in order to avoid the breaking of bookmarks and links.
Web designers should make sure that navigation features will be present at all times, whatever the size of the window the user is using. Browser windows should be maximized when applying design, because not every user will be surfing the Internet in a maximized window.
The following website sections drew the most attention from the participants:
• Logo (6.48 seconds)
• Main navigation menu (6.44 seconds)
• Search box (6 seconds)
• Social media icons (5.95 seconds)
• Main image (5.94 seconds)
• Written content (5.59 seconds)
• Bottom of the website (5.25 seconds)
Keep it simple
A well-laid-out, easy-to-navigate website will always be more effective than one that’s cluttered and overloaded with information. Dan Veltri, co-founder and chief product officer of Weebly, advised limiting your top-level navigation menu to five clearly labeled tabs with related pages organized under those.
“Five to 10 pages is sufficient for the majority of situations,” Veltri said. “Add site search to the top-right corner of your site so that visitors can quickly find what they are looking for. Use a few strategically placed, high-quality photos to give your site a professional look.”
Provide easy access to contact information
A good business website should drive calls and sales leads, but it can’t do that if your potential customers can’t reach you, said David Brown, CEO, chairman and president of Web.com.
“Your contact information should be visible, preferably at the top of the home page, so that visitors don’t have to search for a phone number or address if they want to contact the business,” Brown told Business News Daily.
Veltri agreed, noting that having a contact form accessible through the main navigation menu is the best strategy.
As the Missouri S&T study found, users spend time looking at both social media icons and the bottom of the website. Including your social links in the header and footer of your site will serve as both an attention grabber and a way to keep in touch.
Take advantage of SEO
A picture may be worth a thousand words, especially on a website. But that picture needs to be SEO-friendly in order for customers to find your business.
“SEO is another critical factor of website design,” Brown said. “Search engines will analyze your website from the top to bottom, left to right. Pictures will not be picked up by search engines, so be sure to include keywords that will enable your site to appear in results.”
Make it mobile-optimized
As consumers increasingly use smartphones and tablets to browse the Web, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your business website can smoothly transition from desktop to mobile views.
“Consumers already demand a desktop experience when browsing on a mobile device or tablet, and mobile-optimized websites will be the key ingredient to delivering on that demand,” Brown said. “Websites with limited content and clunky navigation will be quickly passed over for a site — and a business — that delivers a better experience.”
“Choose a website service that takes care of [mobile optimization] automatically for you so that you can focus on running your business,” Veltri added.
There are various ways by which you can choose to design your site to launch your brand on the internet. The most popular of the approaches are hiring a web design company or getting a freelance web designer on board to help you with the site design. While the former has its own advantages, the latter is more profitable an investment. Let us look at the aspects and understand why hiring a freelance web designer is a better prospect.
A freelance web designer is self-motivated, flexible and definitely cost-effective to hire. They are professional, up to date with their knowledge and specialize in their skills. This is why it is wise to go for a quality web designer instead of hiring a design company. A company cannot offer you an inexpensive quote and it is in no way flexible to your needs. You might have to sacrifice to get your job done once you have hired one. Hence a freelance web designer is certainly a wise option.
A freelance web designer is certainly less expensive when compared with a site design company. An individual designer does not have to pay the cost to run the business neither he has the burden of overhead costs. Hence if you are on a tight budget, a quality web designer can surely help you out.
Easy to hire
A freelance web designer is easy to hire unlike the design companies which like to work only on large projects. This is why if you have a small website to be designed a quality web designer is certainly a better option than a company. They are easy to hire and you can also negotiate with them over the prices.
As the competition is high when one is a freelance web designer, each one of them tries to offer their best work with every project. This is why you are bound to get better quality design work from them as they are also building a profile for themselves.
Innovative and unique designs
A quality designer always has fresh and up to date ideas. This is why a freelance web designer is certainly a better choice. Unlike the design companies, they do not force old or used template on you instead try to come up with something unique each time.
These are some of the best advantages when it comes to hiring a freelance web designer.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive design is a web design and development technique that creates a site or system that reacts to the size of a user’s screen. Responsive design will optimise a user’s browsing experience by creating a flexible and responsive web page, optimised for the device that is accessing it.
There has been a distinct audience shift towards mobile browsing and responsive design represents the simplest way to reach users across multiple devices and ensures a seamless user experience. 2013 has been hailed as the ‘Year of Responsive Design’, and with increasing preference of readers to read news online across multiple devices (i.e. tablets and smartphones), responsive design is becoming increasingly important
Time Magazine has a good example of how responsive design changes to fit the screen:
Time web site
Increasing your reach to tablet and mobile audiences
Increasing use of the internet and proliferation of web applications on tablet and mobile devices has been the driving force behind this development. Traditionally users would be re-directed to a device specific site (e.g. mobile), but responsive design means one site can be implemented across devices.
Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year, meaning that responsive design has never been so important for those looking to optimise their online content. Indeed, some Byte9 sites are already experiencing up to 40% traffic from tablet and mobile devices, a strong commercial imperative to accommodate the smaller screen size in a unified design.
Increase sales and conversion rates
Another benefit of responsive design is that the user has an improved site experience as there is no need for redirection, use of standardised Style Sheets (CSS) across devices and unified design approach will also create a consistent look and feel. Consistent user experience will have a positive impact on your conversion rates as people are familiar with navigation and site or system use across devices. Responsive design removes some of the barriers that having multiple sites can present, i.e. in functionality, performance and consistent look and feel.
Consolidate your analytics and reporting
A single responsive site means that you no longer have to track user journeys, conversion paths, funnels and redirections between your sites. Site analytics tools like Google Analytics are now optimised to handle multiple devices and responsive reporting. All of your tracking and analytics will continue to function and be condensed into a single report, allowing for easier monitoring and analysis.
Increase your visibility in search engines
Responsive Design means you can manage one website with a single set of hypertext links; therefore reducing the time spent maintaining your site. This allows you to focus on link outreach with a consolidated Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy. SEO campaigns can be time consuming and costly, but by creating a responsive site, all of your efforts can be focussed on a single site, with unified strategy and tactics across devices.
Content is vital in SEO, good quality content which is regularly released improves your search engine ranking page positioning, therefore a further advantage of responsive design is that fewer resources can be wasted in low-level duplication of content across sites, the content need only be applied to a single site, increasing your chances or a higher search engine ranking.
Additionally Google suggest (which Byte9 analytics can confirm) that mobile optimised, responsive sites are featuring prominently in localised search results. This is obviously of huge significance to high street and online retailers, amongst other burgeoning mobile use cases.
Save time and cost on mobile development
A primary benefit of adopting a responsive design is that it takes less time than creating an additional stand-alone mobile site, which has been the traditional approach. Testing across a number of websites also increases your development, support and maintenance overhead. As styles are re-used and optimised by device standardised testing methodologies can also be used.
Save time and cost on site management
Clients will also find it much easier and less time consuming to manage and maintain a single site, with much less content to manage. Additionally a single administrative interface can easily be optimised, using layout and workflow tools to manage the correct content, or site templates that are being used for different devices. Business logic can be applied such that the overall multi-device experience can be significantly enhanced within a single administration, like Blaze CMS.
Within Blaze CMS, for example, editorial users are marshalled to produce the requisite content, appropriate for each device screen size, therefore maximising the benefit and minimising what can be a huge editorial administrative overhead with separate sites for mobile.
Enhance user’s offline browsing experience
Responsive design allows site owners to deliver quality content to audiences across devices, the offline browsing capabilities of HTML5 mean that sites can be easily accessed ‘on the go’. As HTML5 enabled tablets and smart phones proliferate this will become increasingly important. Email newsletters, and content contained in hybrid HTML5 web applications will increasingly be consumed on the move and in the absence of an internet connection.
Responsive design allows you to stay ahead of the trend. As the demand for media rich mobile internet and apps is burgeoning, several important implications must be addressed; development and maintenance costs, visibility in search engines and better conversion rates. It is these factors combined with a unified approach to design that will be beneficial for all stakeholders.
With the increase in Tablet sales and smartphone device use exploding, responsive design is key to keeping up ahead of your competitors and establishing market share; content consumption on mobile devices will only continue to balloon as 2013 progresses.
Designing and developing can be time-consuming, especially when the project involves a new challenge, putting the team or freelancer into unknown territory. Moreover, time is a key factor in productivity. Working efficiently enables us to deliver better value at a competitive price.
However, some steps can be repeated for every project. These are steps we know and should make as quick as possible in order to have more freedom to experiment with new solutions.
This article presents a collection of tools, tips and tricks that will make your standard workflow as fast and practical as possible, so that you have more time for the exciting parts of the project.
Tips And Tricks
Useful Aligning and Spacing
Kris Jolls creates squares for the various spaces he has between elements. This cuts down time and makes sure everything is aligned and spaced properly.
“The Ultimate Photoshop Web Design Workspace”
Jacob Cass shares his set-up for the ultimate Web design workspace in Photoshop.
“Perfect Workflow in Sublime Text 2”
This is a must for all Sublime users. Ilya Grigorik has put together a two-hour tour de force to make you a Sublime ninja!
“Development Workflow for 2013”
Learn what a modern development workflow looks like, from editors and plugins to authoring abstractions, testing and DVCS integration
“Vertical Editing” (with TextMate)
Learn how to vertically edit in general and with TextMate in particular. It pairs best practices with vendor-specific redundant properties
“Prevent background-color Bleed on Touch Screens”
Add outline: 1px solid #fff to your code to stop background-color bleeding on touchscreens.
“Quick Tip: Rounded Corners Done Right”
Improperly nested corners are a detail that can ruin a brilliant design. Learn how to do it the right way.
“Out-denting Properties for Debugging CSS”
Martin Sutherland usually ends up adding a ton of properties to figure out how things fit together. Here is a little trick to remove the properties before a project goes live.
“Favicons Next to External Links”
A little trick to display an external favicon and next to the corresponding link, using simple lightweight jQuery.
“Dev Tools Tips and Tricks”
These slides include tips and tricks for performance. You will be surprised what Chrome DevTools can do. (Use the arrow keys to navigate the slides.)
“Sublime Text Workflow That Beats Coda and Espresso”
Andrey Tarantsov talks about jumping into Sublime Text 2 and and setting up a workflow that beats traditional tools such as Coda and Espresso.
“Speed Up CSS Prototyping”
This is a simple trick to overlay a grid or a mock-up over a page that you’re styling. It also allows you to edit content directly in the browser to see how the layout responds to various lines of text.
“Git: Twelve Curated Tips and Workflows From the Trenches”
12 simple tips for using Git, including: make “git diff” wrap long lines, set a global proxy, and clone a specific branch.
A web page (or webpage) is a web document that is suitable for the World Wide Web and the web browser. A web browser displays a web page on a monitor or mobile device. The web page is what displays, but the term also refers to a computer file, usually written in HTML or comparable markup language, whose main distinction is to provide hypertext that will navigate to other web pages via links. Web browsers coordinate web resources centered around the written web page, such as style sheets, scripts and images, to present the web page.
On a network, a web browser can retrieve a web page from a remote web server. On a higher level, the web server may restrict access to only a private network such as a corporate intranet or it provide access to the World Wide Web. On a lower level, the web browser uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to make such requests.
A static web page is delivered exactly as stored, as web content in the web server’s file system, while a dynamic web page is generated by a web application that is driven by server-side software or client-side scripting. Dynamic web pages help the browser (the client) to enhance the web page through user input to the server.
1 Colour, typography, illustration, and interaction
9 See also
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a set of related web pages served from a single web domain. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet address known as a Uniform resource locator. All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web.
A webpage is a document, typically written in plain text interspersed with formatting instructions of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, XHTML). A webpage may incorporate elements from other websites with suitable markup anchors.
Webpages are accessed and transported with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which may optionally employ encryption (HTTP Secure, HTTPS) to provide security and privacy for the user of the webpage content. The user’s application, often a web browser, renders the page content according to its HTML markup instructions onto a display terminal.
The pages of a website can usually be accessed from a simple Uniform Resource Locator (URL) called the web address. The URLs of the pages organize them into a hierarchy, although hyperlinking between them conveys the reader’s perceived site structure and guides the reader’s navigation of the site which generally includes a home page with most of the links to the site’s web content, and a supplementary about, contact and link page.
Some websites require a subscription to access some or all of their content. Examples of subscription websites include many business sites, parts of news websites, academic journal websites, gaming websites, file-sharing websites, message boards, web-based email, social networking websites, websites providing real-time stock market data, and websites providing various other services (e.g., websites offering storing and/or sharing of images, files and so forth).
3 Static website
4 Dynamic website
5 Multimedia and interactive content
7 Types of websites
9 See also
11 External links
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