The pillars behind an accessible creative business web site design
The web site should look awesome in the sense that its design must be user friendly and visually appealing. Usability, accessibility and some basic browser design guidelines are there behind any new web site to look afresh.
User friendliness, good look & feel and fast & easy communications are some of the features of any successful and cheap website design to target the prospects.
Only pretty images would not satisfy their quests. A site that is not visually appealing can drive a user away before he completes his task. Certain other things are also necessary here to make the website usable.
Creative Design, Usability, Accessibility and some Basic Browser Design guidelines are of great importance to decide the fate of any website to look visually appealing and stunning as well.
Creative website design:
The design of any visually appealing website is such that the prospects would find the site to be interesting to stay long in the website and get the required info perfectly. Provided, the website has to be easy to read and easy to navigate also.
Just by following some basic design standards this creative standard can be established easily.
Colors: The true cross-platform color palette is 216 colors.
Fonts: Just try using the common user fonts so that he site would open in any computer. In this regard, it is necessary to point that some usual fonts can make this happen. Times New Roman, Arial, and Helvetica are the most commonly used fonts. These fonts are easy to read on a computer screen.
Screen Resolutions: a resolution of 1024x768 is the most prevalent in the web design industry. The second most common is 800x600 designs. It is wise to make a liquid layout that fits automatically in any computer without any break-up of images and info. Rigid layout, in this case, would obviously upset a user who is seeing a 1024x768 layout in his 800x600 compatible screen. Which resolution used must be carefully considered.
Images: Nearly every website uses images. Images are of great use for selling products and for displaying company branding. Unnecessary use of images here would have no purpose at all, but those are used to please the viewers. This would unnecessarily make the page size bigger. Using ALT tags with images for accessibility are of high note.
There is more than one browser that is used on the web. Designing one such site for a specific browser would simply lose the real purpose of the website. It is better to test them all. The most popular are Internet Explorer (5-7), Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape 7/8.
“Put usability first. Practice simplicity”.
Jakob Nielsen, usability Design Expert, “Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity”
Not only for completing the information architecture for a site, but also for the creative design usability of any large or small professional web design matters largely. The users should not face any difficulty in finding what they want actually.
Following are some of the basic rules of usability:
· The same basic style should prevail in all pages on the site.
· Other than having a basic style maintained with rest of the pages, the Home Page should have a different design from the rest of the site.
· The brand (logo) and/or company name must generally be placed in the upper left-hand corner (sometimes it is located elsewhere for the Home Page and is larger).
· Only 20% of a page should be occupied for the navigation, though for home page it is something different. It actually varies from site to site as per the reach of the topics.
· Generally, the top horizontal of the page and the left-hand vertical of the page are two most common locations for navigation.
· You can have the printer friendly options if the site content displayed is suitable for printing.
· For any site that has a lot of content, consider creating ‘sub sites’. Breaking the site down into sections (similar to chapters in a book) with each section having its own landing page would simply make the site look orderly. Often the users can easily remember what specific info they want to see in which sub site.
· Please use percentages (%) instead of pixels to define widths on table definitions and backgrounds/borders for the sake of Resolution Independent Design. the users screen resolution can get an unaffected display quality using percentage (%). This can be a long process and requires testing the site in different screen resolutions, but it would pay off in the long run.
Thinking about the disable users as well while making any website is the best option. If it is not for the humanity, then at least for the chance of not missing any such possible prospect that can be disable, the accessible website design issues should be dealt in with care and concern. Those persons use different technologies to browse the web (such as screen readers). Colors, fonts, use of certain development technologies, images; all these things need to be carefully selected for a web site to be accessible.
Also the W3C has defined Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It is not expected that all the sites should follow that rules, but the web design professionals can at least review them and decide what can be done to make the site accessible.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joanna Gadel is from an Australian website design company which creates cheap Sydney web site design. His writings on web design principles and issues are of great importance to the budding web designers.