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Why is Website Design Important?

A well-conceived and consistent design helps draw attention to what has changed as the visitor moves from page to page. Ideally, what changes is the most important part of the page, the stuff your customer is interested in. 

If you get stuck in room with a group of web designers you'll hear a lot of talk about page load times, HTML and XML, color and page sizes, animated graphics, and the latest design gizmos. Designers love to talk about the tools they use and the latest design trends. But hidden in all of this conversation are the real issues that you should pay attention to such as how a certain type of design is used to improve usability or create a strong sense of trust between a website and a visitor. You also might hear discussions about how different types of fonts are used to improve readability or how page links are used to help break up text into smaller, more easily readable sections. This is the "language" of design that you should always be on the lookout for.   

The Web's strength as a visual medium is unquestioned. Often, a site is as much about what it looks like as what it says or does. Some sites exist for no other reason than to push the envelope of what's possible in web design.   

 Your website will not be one of those sites. But, your site should exhibit some aesthetic sensibility. As several design experts and professional aestheticians have asserted, there is no undesigned object. In the world of commercial products at least, design pervades everything from cell phone face plates to toilet brushes. Surrounded by "designed objects" at every turn in their everyday life, visitors to your site will likewise expect your website to have a "design."   

Design in this sense does not imply avant-garde or cutting edge, but rather it means produced with a purpose. A designed site employs visual discipline to support the site's mission and connect with its visitors.   

 As focus does, design helps determine if something--an advertisement, logo, image, text block or other graphical element--is appropriate for the site. Not "appropriate" in terms of its content, but appropriate in how its size, color, and composition affect the site's design for better or worse.   

In a well-designed site, areas of pages with different functions are separate and consistent across all the pages. A site's design should clearly delineate areas of a site by function. For a small website, that primarily means designing a site with distinct areas for your logo or brand, navigation buttons and links, content, and a page footer, which might hold a copyright notice, page modification date, email link to the webmaster, and other short, site usage information. Larger sites might also designate web page real estate for other purposes, such as tools (search, shopping, or account management) and marketing, advertising, or promotional messages.   

The creators of cluttered sites have "bent the rules" too many times, resulting in a visual mishmash that confuses visitors. As the proverb goes, a room full of people may refuse to acknowledge the elephant in their midst. But a site that has grown bloated without regard for an overarching design principle will be noticeable to all who see it.   

People can easily become disoriented on the Web. A well-designed site is an antidote to the problem.   

Bloated sites often have a disturbing "designed on the fly" look to them. Like something shiny in the monkey cage, a new website feature captivates the bloated site builder and diverts attention from the rest of the site. On a good small site, the latest-and-greatest look is avoided so that a design that's simple and customer focused can be maintained.    

A well-conceived and consistent design helps draw attention to what has changed as the visitor moves from page to page. Ideally, what changes is the most important part of the page, the stuff your customer is interested in. The rest of the site recedes to the periphery, getting attention from the visitor only when necessary. By abandoning consistent design from page to pageFree Reprint Articles, visitors to a bloated site are forced to concentrate on how the site is organized rather than on how the site and the business can benefit them.    

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Shonda Miles is a business consultant and business coach. Gotta Take Action provides informative articles and advice to women-owned businesses who are ready to skyrocket their profits. Learn more about how to catapult your business success by visiting for more information.

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