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Optimal business website design

Hemina 19/10/2009 12:00:00 AM

Optimal website design is an integral part of the web designing process. Optimal website design is about offering consistency to the visitor and at the same time offering quality information which is laid out attractively, yet functional. There are many characteristics when designing a business website for maximum benefit and below are listed 11 essential considerations.

Colour Me White

There is a common feeling that more means good. This is not the case when a website is designed. Especially, if you are creating a business website. You want to provide excellent information and minimal visuals for full impact of the site.

Try to create a clear outline of your site. It is a good idea to leave a space between titles, headlines. It is more aesthetically pleasing to the eye to see a lighter background compared to a garish dark red or black background. Those backgrounds cater to a "different" market segment.

If you have to add pictures to show a product, it is wiser to add thumbnails which not only save space but give a much cleaner look to the website. The same principal appears for ads. Make them as subtle as possible.

The best practice is to have a white background with either red, black or blue fonts.

Flash Animation

There is a common misconception that visitors love flashy animated websites. Unless you have a cartoon website, it is best to stick to mainly text. If your business does require to show pictures, it may be a good idea to create thumbnails and let the visitor decide if that want to click on the image to enlarge and view it. To many flash animations cause another major problem and that is the upload time.

About Us

Allow your viewers to find out about who you are and what you are about. Include a biography and some background on why you are in the business you're in or why you created your website. By helping them to get to know you, they will find it easier to develop a trust. If they can like you and trust you, they will feel a lot better about doing business with you.

Always include your business address, phone number and email address. This also lets viewers know that you welcome contact and are serious about your business.

Privacy

Every website must include a Privacy page. You need to reassure your visitors that you follow privacy guidelines. This is particularly important if you are collecting names and email addresses. Visitors want to know that you will not sell or give away their information.

In these days of rampant spam, your privacy policy needs to be prominently displayed. Many viewers and business partners won't do business with you unless you have it.

Blue Link

Internet surfers have long been accustomed to seeing links in blue. It's simply an expectation that viewers have. There is no written rule that says your links must be blue, but people prefer consistency, therefore it's good practice to keep your links consistent and recognisable. If they're not, you may lose out on clicks.

Keep navigation consistent

The navigation scheme you create on your index page should be done the same way throughout your site. Don't force your viewers to relearn each page of your site. Keep your navigation bars, colours and fonts consistent for each page.

Simple buttons and links

Title your links appropriately. Don't use cute or misleading names. For example, if you have a link to 'flowers' don't label the link 'buds', label it 'Flowers'. You want your visitor to stay engaged and not guess. This is wasting time and you may lose a potential client before they have had the chance to explore the rest of your site.

Involve client/visitor

Make it obviously clear to your readers that you are in business for them. Encourage feedback, provide useful information and keep advertisements to a minimum. Your objective should be focused on what you can do for your reader? Convince them that your main interest is how you can deliver what it is they're looking for? A great way to do that is creating a blog and allowing for comments and feedback.

Fast Load Times

If viewers have to wait for a page to load they will click elsewhere. If a page doesn't load in 10 seconds you could lose half your visitors, half of which could have become you client.

Site Map

A site map will give visitors a "guide" on viewing your site, especially with larger sites. The site map is a road map for your visitors to follow. Sitemaps are also popular with search engines and are often recommended to help ensure indexing.

SEO friendly

Ensure the content written for the web pages are keyword rich. There are many free keyword search sites on the Internet. A keyword rich website ispopular with search engines and are often recommended to help ensure indexing.

By following some or all of the website design elements, you can be assured of a functional, attractive and search engine friendly business website.