Fast Loading times: An issue that is hardly ever considered when designing a website is the loading times. If you have designed a flash website, but the file size is too large, it will take too long to load, this means most people will have switched off by the time the page has loaded. Keeping file sizes small, and making sure your designs are optimized for the web is a good way to keep you loading times down.
There are certain things that can be done to keep the loading time of your website low.
1. Minimize the use of images
2. Use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
3. Use .jpg or .gif formats when putting images on the site
4. Put as much of the site in HTML as possible
Navigation: A common problem that people have when designing a website is the navigation. Although you may have what you think is a clear navigation does it show the visitor through your site?
There are certain things you can do to make navigation work for you and the user.
1. Make sure your links are organized in accordance with how important they are. With the most important at the top.
2. Arrange all links so they are clear and prominent.
3. Navigation should be consistent. The important links of your site should appear exactly the same on every page
4. Keep all links simple and easy to use, a link that is understandable is the key to a good navigation system.
Computer Resolutions: Computers appear in resolutions ranging from 640 x 480 to 1280 x 1024, so make sure your website is accessible and visible, you must be able to cater for all resolutions
There are certain things you can do to make sure you have a website that caters for all resolutions
1. Design your website keeping the lowest resolution in mind (640 x 480)
2. Keep most measurements in percentages rather than pixels. (unless unavoidable)
3. When using tables make sure the cells within the table are measured in pixels, other than the content cell
Always test your website: Because websites are viewed in different types of browsers it’s a good idea to test your website in as many different browsers as possible. Also (in particular Internet Explorer) check that your website works in all different versions of a browser, as a general rule it will look the same in most browsers because they all follow W3C guidelines. However, Internet Explorer does not follow the W3C rules so check your website’s capability with as many versions of it as possible.
Fonts: Fonts are a very important part of designing a website. Although you may think using a wacky font like comic sans is an advantage to your site be careful. Acknowledge the type of person you are wanting to attract to your site, and pick your font accordingly. Having said that though, there is a problem with choosing an irregular font, if the computer that your website is being browsed upon does not have the font you used, it will use the default font, which I assure you, you do not want. So choose font carefully, personally, I tend to stick to Arial. It is a very generic font and most (if not all) computers have it.
White Space: Remember people can be very picky about how a site is presented. So try not to overcrowd your website with too many images or too much text. Using white space effectively you can really highlight certain aspects of your page. So do not feel you have to cover your entire page with content.
Colour: Colour can be the deciding factor on whether a website is successful or not. Pick colours that work together and are suitable for your target audience. For a good way to see what colours work together here is a link to a colours pallet that I find very useful:
Now go and fun designing your own website, but one last thing to remember: Always check all the links on the website that you are designing actually work because a website that does not have working links is not a website at all.